by Stephanie Grant
Ann Ahern has a crush on her French teacher. It doesn't disturb her that Mademoiselle Eugenie is a woman, but it does disturb her that she's Black. It's 1974, and Boston is still struggling with the Civil Rights movement, instituting busing between neighborhoods to desegregate the schools. Ann's Catholic Irish-American community of Southie protests the busing vehemently, and Ann finds herself caught between her mother's hatred and her love/hate relationship with the new Black girls at school. Ann soon learns that she might need to leave Southie in order to get true perspective, and finds herself having to redefine many of her thoughts and beliefs, her very self and the language that she uses to describe her feelings. This portrait of recent United States history will have leave you thinking about what it takes to become who you really want to be.