The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones
by Daven McQueen
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t―open, kind, and full of acceptance.
Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days can give rise to an invincible summer.
Daven McQueen’s Juniper Jones is a character for all ages in this sweet coming of age story set in 1950s Alabama.
Reviewing this book will not do it justice. EVERYONE needs to read this book. It is a heartbreaking, heart wrenching story of friendship and coming of age in the early years of the civil rights movement. I will forever remember this book and the brutal look at race, identity, and white privilege.
Ethan has been sent to Ellison, Alabama for “punishment” for a school scuffle but what his Dad didn’t anticipate is how much of a punishment being biracial in Ellison would be. As Ethan and Juniper become friends and plan and execute their invincible summer, the racism of 1955 soon becomes all too real.
McQueen brings the hot, humid, sticky summer days of Ellison alive. I felt as if I was right there with Ethan and Juniper kicking up dust while pedaling my bike at break neck speed. This summertime nostalgia is carried further along by Ethan’s Uncle’s malt shop, where every flavor is tested over the sweltering months as Ethan and Juniper plan their summer adventures. These childhood adventures are super sweet and play the coming of age story nicely against the all too real racial tensions of the era.
This book is my NUMBER ONE book of the year and you won’t want to miss out! Thank you @theffbc @wattpadbooks and @netgalley for my eArc in return for my honest review.
About the author
Daven McQueen grew up outside of Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Brown University, where she earned a B.A. in literary arts and economics. When she’s not writing, Daven can be found tap dancing, embroidering, cooking, and eating dessert. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts and works in education.
1 copy of THE INVINCIBLE SUMMER OF JUNIPER JONES by Daven McQueen US Only
Please be aware that delays due to COVID-19 may occur on the shipping of the prizes. Click here to enter.