Lies We Tell Ourselves

Lies We Tell Ourselves

Book - 2014
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In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever. 

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. 

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town's most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept "separate but equal." 

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another. 

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.
Publisher: Don Mills, Ontario : Harlequin Teen, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780373211333
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Talle
Characteristics: 368 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend a newly integrated high school in a fictional Virginia town in 1959.

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Aug 31, 2017

It was so painful to read the hate spewed at Sarah and her black classmates. Nobody should have had to go through any of that. What's scary is that so many people still think it's okay to think if not outright say and do the things that were said and done to Sarah and her black classmates.

LPL_KimberlyL Nov 28, 2015

A painfully realistic portrayal of school integration in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. This book is told from alternating viewpoints of one of the first African American students to attend a white school, and a girl whose racist and abusive father is the town's main proponent of segregation. Both characters struggle with their sexuality and are trying to find their way in a scary and violent world. This book does NOT hold back! The subject material is difficult and truly heart-wrenching, but ultimately it is hopeful and shows that people are indeed capable of change.

Oct 26, 2015

Very carefully and wonderfully crafted. A very good read about very strong, real, and relevant topics then and now too!

AliReads Nov 26, 2014

Really good - really intense though. This was not an 'easy' book but it shouldn't be, there's so much rasicm and fear, I think the author portrays that really well. Sarah was just excellent from start to end. Their relationship was really interesting and tense and stressfull - loved it.

While there have been many well written stories about the integration of schools in the south, what makes this story stand out is the story within the story – the unique and rich relationship between the girls, a white student whose family is spearheading the anti-integration movement, and a black student, one of the first in a group of black students to attend a white school. Written in alternating perspectives, the novel is ripe with discussion questions, and feels like an intimate and accurate account of the times. The bullying that happens to the black students feels realistic and heartbreaking, and teens will identify with the love/hate, complicated relationship between the main characters.


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Oct 26, 2015

"We punish ourselves so much in our own imaginations. We convince ourselves everything we do, everything we think, is wrong." (Linda Hairston)

Oct 26, 2015

"This is who I am. And I like me this way. And I think God just might like me this way, too." (Sarah Dunbar)

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