Carrie’s Courage: Battling the Powers of Bigotry (1923) (Sisters in Time #19)
Norma Jean Lutz
Barbour Publishing (2005)
Reviewed by Anne Marie Medema (age 12) for Reader Views (3/08)
“Carrie’s Courage” by Norma Jean Lutz is another book written for the “Sisters in Time” collection. Lutz is a skilled author who writes historical novels to give knowledge to her readers of specific events or issues in history. She weaves in characters with numerous personality traits to make her point about what life would be like during that time period. Lutz successfully brings characters alive and relates them to young female readers. Lutz uses vivid descriptions to tell her story and makes the reader feel like they are actually where the story takes place.
“Carrie’s Courage” is about a young girl named Carrie who likes to pretend when she plays. In this story Carrie meets Dvora, a Jewish girl. Carrie helps Dvora get over the fear of going to school because she is new in the neighborhood. Soon after Carrie meets Dvora she finds out that her great Aunt’s adopted son is part of the Ku Klux Klan, a group of people who harass others because they are from different nations or religions. Carrie and Dvora quickly become good friends. Dvora is ridiculed because of her Jewish religion. Carrie has to decide if she will stay on Dvora’s side and lose her friends or remain with her friends and reject Dvora. Carrie soon finds out that her friends do not care if she plays with Dvora. Carrie’s decision is made for her. Later the Ku Klux Klan burn a wooden cross in Dvora’s yard. Dvora and the uncle she lives with are obviously scared and upset. Carrie’s parents assure them of their safety because the Ku Klux Klan is disliked in the community. Carrie discovers that her friendship with Dvora is so strong that nothing can break them apart. Dvora eventually moves to another neighborhood with Jewish roots. Even this distance between the girls cannot break their friendship.
I recommend “Carrie’s Courage” by Norma Jean Lutz to girls who are age 9 to 12 who treasure lasting friendships. I like the way Lutz encourages girls my age to build relationships based on what is inside a person’s heart. Race or religion should not matter to a relationship because you like the person for who they are. In my own life I related to this story because I have Jewish friends who I am a friend with because of our common interests and personalities. Friendship is not based on religious beliefs. Bring yourself into a wave of friendship with “Carries Courage” by Norma Jean Lutz.