For Lamb (Hardcover)
1930s Mississippi is a dangerous place for a Black child to grow up. A look, a sound, an inability to move quickly enough away can put a person and her family in the gravest danger, so Marion Clark keeps her children close, tries to give her son Simeon just enough to maintain his strength while constantly clipping the wings of his independence, so dangerously like Marion’s own. It is a balancing game she is bound to lose. But it is Lamb, the daughter Momma has kept close and protected, who accepts a thorny offer of friendship and places the family in a danger there was no way to avoid. How does a Black mother love her children, protect them, help them grow up to have dignity and self-worth in a world that punishes that very sense of self, that success? Beautifully written, this explores the legacy of racism in the very fabric of family, in the love of a mother for her child.— From Linda's Adult Picks
An interracial friendship between two teenaged girls goes tragically wrong in this powerful historical novel set in the Jim Crow South.
For Lamb follows a family striving to better their lives in the late 1930s Jackson, Mississippi. Lamb’s mother is a hard-working, creative seamstress who cannot reveal she is a lesbian. Lamb’s brother has a brilliant mind and has even earned a college scholarship for a black college up north-- if only he could curb his impulsiveness and rebellious nature.
Lamb herself is a quiet and studious girl. She is also naive. As she tentatively accepts the friendly overtures of a white girl who loans her a book she loves, she sets a off a calamitous series of events that pulls in her mother, charming hustler uncle, estranged father, and brother, and ends in a lynching.
Told with nuance and subtlety, avoiding sensationalism and unnecessary brutality, this young adult novel from celebrated author Lesa Cline-Ransome pays homage to the female victims of white supremacy.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
About the Author
Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of more than twenty books for young readers including the award-winning Finding Langston trilogy. Her work has received a plethora of honors, including dozens of starred reviews, NAACP Image Award nominations, a Coretta Scott King honor, the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and a Christopher Award. Her work has been named to ALA Notable Books and Bank Street Best Children’s Book lists and she lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
★ "Unendingly powerful, the story and characters are unforgettable."—School Library Journal, Starred Review
★ "Cline-Ransome deftly creates unforgettable characters, each with a distinct voice, and exposes readers to the oppressive racism of the Jim Crow South. . . . This standalone novel is a devastating page-turner that tells an all-too-realistic story."— The Horn Book, Starred Review
★ "Told with nuance and subtlety, this is a powerful story of striving to succeed in the face of nearly impossible odds."—Booklist, Starred Review
★ "Cline-Ransome depicts injustice and violence with a perfect balance of brutality and sensitivity. She particularly excels at portraying the nuances of relationships and character motivations, which are often at odds. . . . For Lamb is a heartbreaking novel that will leave readers with a visceral understanding of history."—BookPage, Starred Review
"In lyrical prose that displays adroit attention to historical detail, Cline-Ransome empathetically renders a perpetually optimistic protagonist whose hopeful outlook lends heartbreaking resonance to the narrative’s dark themes.)"—Publishers Weekly
"The voices of the characters complement each other, and the movement through narrators creates space for the readers to breathe so that the tension that fills the book from the very first page doesn’t completely overwhelm. An important and resolute depiction of the inhumanity of a still potent problem."—Kirkus Reviews