Fall 2018 Kids Indie Next List
“In this story of the Great Migration of 1946, 11-year-old Langston misses his mother who has passed away, his grandmother who was left behind and his father who has to work long hours. As Langston faces poverty and bullying in Chicago, he takes refuge in the library and discovers books and companionship, something that is life-affirming for both him and his father. Finding Langston is exactly the profound book of renewal we need right now.”
— Alice Hutchinson, Byrd's Books, Bethel, CT
In a debut historical novel about the Great Migration a boy discovers Chicago's postwar South Side and the poetry of Langston Hughes.
When 11-year-old Langston's mother dies in 1946, he and his father leave rural Alabama for Chicago's brown belt as a part of what came to be known as the Great Migration. It's lonely in the small apartment with just the two of them, and at school Langston is bullied. But his new home has one fantastic thing. Unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the local public library welcomes everyone. There, hiding out after school, Langston discovers another Langston, a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.
About the Author
LESA CLINE-RANSOME has written ten picture books for children, including two ALA Notable Books. Her work focuses on African American history.
“An engaging, quick, and relatable read that skillfully incorporates themes of race, class, post-war American life in the North and South, and a bit of Langston Hughes’ poetry. This is a story that will stay with readers long after they’ve finished it.”
(School Library Journal, starred review)
“The impact on the reader could not be more powerful. A memorable debut novel.”
(Booklist, starred review)
“A fascinating work of historical fiction . . . Cline-Ransome at her best.”
(Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
“Finding Langston is about cultural heritage and personal growth and, at its heart, about finding home wherever you land.”