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The Long Ride

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In the tumult of 1970s New York City, seventh graders are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica. Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they In the tumult of 1970s New York City, seventh graders are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica. Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they have each other. Now, at the start seventh grade, they are told they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to a brand-new school built to "mix up the black and white kids." Their parents don't want them to be experiments. Francesca's send her to a private school, leaving Jamila and Josie to take the bus ride without her. While Francesca is testing her limits, Josie and Jamila find themselves outsiders again at the new school. As the year goes on, the Spanish girls welcome Josie, while Jamila develops a tender friendship with a boy--but it's a relationship that can exist only at school.


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In the tumult of 1970s New York City, seventh graders are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica. Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they In the tumult of 1970s New York City, seventh graders are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica. Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they have each other. Now, at the start seventh grade, they are told they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to a brand-new school built to "mix up the black and white kids." Their parents don't want them to be experiments. Francesca's send her to a private school, leaving Jamila and Josie to take the bus ride without her. While Francesca is testing her limits, Josie and Jamila find themselves outsiders again at the new school. As the year goes on, the Spanish girls welcome Josie, while Jamila develops a tender friendship with a boy--but it's a relationship that can exist only at school.

30 review for The Long Ride

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    So I’m about 50 pages into this #ARC and I think I’m going to set it aside. It’s not bad at all; it just isn’t pulling me in. There isn’t a lot of description of the side characters, so I’m having trouble keeping them straight. The language is simple and straight-forward, so I think it will make a great addition to my ESL classroom library. Since it’s not bad, but I’m not finishing it, I won’t review it. I might just need a break from YA for now!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carli

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. In 1970s New York, Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are inseparable. They are all mixed-race, and their families moved into a white neighborhood so their children could attend good schools. However, the city decides to integrate their schools, sending Jamila and Josie to South Jamaica, with Francesca’s parents opting for a private school. Over the course of the year the girls struggle as outsiders in their new school, and also learn harsh realities about prejudice. I flew through this au ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. In 1970s New York, Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are inseparable. They are all mixed-race, and their families moved into a white neighborhood so their children could attend good schools. However, the city decides to integrate their schools, sending Jamila and Josie to South Jamaica, with Francesca’s parents opting for a private school. Over the course of the year the girls struggle as outsiders in their new school, and also learn harsh realities about prejudice. I flew through this audiobook and am excited to get this one into my students’ hands. Recommended for grades 6+.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    This book for ages 10+ held my attention AND educated me. I enjoyed it immensely and learned from it....at age 50! Marina Budhos creates believable, likable characters with inner and outer conflict and she does it with complexity and compassion, with goodness and grace. Budhos tells a story (and truths!) about a period of time that left so many of us wondering, “What in the world will come of this bussing experiment?” and she lets us see into the minds of young people who find themselves feeling This book for ages 10+ held my attention AND educated me. I enjoyed it immensely and learned from it....at age 50! Marina Budhos creates believable, likable characters with inner and outer conflict and she does it with complexity and compassion, with goodness and grace. Budhos tells a story (and truths!) about a period of time that left so many of us wondering, “What in the world will come of this bussing experiment?” and she lets us see into the minds of young people who find themselves feeling like outsiders while being moved by forces beyond their control. I started reading this book thinking, “Why not read this one?” and came away thinking, “We all must read this one!” It ought to be included in school curriculums and in the #amreading stack on your nightstand. Readers and educators, take a look. You’ll be enriched by the experience.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    hmmm really strong 3.5

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karolyn

    I really liked this book because I could relate to this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Copy received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. While The Long Ride had a cool historical setting and an interesting premise, this book just didn't click for me. I liked that this middle-grade novel was set in 1970's Queens and that it was about young, mixed girls who take the "long ride" to a school where they are supposed to feel able to fit in more - something that actually happened at this time. Segregation was illegal by the 70's in the US, but schoolchildren of color, like our Copy received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. While The Long Ride had a cool historical setting and an interesting premise, this book just didn't click for me. I liked that this middle-grade novel was set in 1970's Queens and that it was about young, mixed girls who take the "long ride" to a school where they are supposed to feel able to fit in more - something that actually happened at this time. Segregation was illegal by the 70's in the US, but schoolchildren of color, like our three protagonists still faced major problems in school at the hands of their white classmates. These issues were portrayed in a realistic way, and the means by which the main character, Jamila, reacted to racism that was aimed at her was believable - she was immature at times, but she's only a seventh-grader in the story, anyways. I was expecting to get a message out of The Long Ride, or at least be able to think deeply about something after finishing it, but that didn't happen. We all know that middle-grade books can and do make you think about life, and I wish The Long Ride was one of those. It seemed a little shallow to me because the plot didn't dive into anything much deeper than "Girl is sad and mad about going to a new school." The Long Ride was average, which is sad because it has the potential to be a lot better. Also, I wasn't a fan of the romance between Jamila and John. It was played as a "forbidden romance," and I'm not exactly sure why that was necessary.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shoshanna

    Absolutely incredible! Recommended for all readers! Story centers on three young women of color, just on the cusp of young womanhood. The three have been friends for a long while: Francesca is has a parent who is Latinx and one who is white British, Jamila (the narrator) has one parent who is white and one who immigrated from Barbados and is Black, Josie has a Black mother from Jamaica and a Latinx father from Puerto Rico. While they have always reveled in their shared mixedness, fissures emerge Absolutely incredible! Recommended for all readers! Story centers on three young women of color, just on the cusp of young womanhood. The three have been friends for a long while: Francesca is has a parent who is Latinx and one who is white British, Jamila (the narrator) has one parent who is white and one who immigrated from Barbados and is Black, Josie has a Black mother from Jamaica and a Latinx father from Puerto Rico. While they have always reveled in their shared mixedness, fissures emerge with the fallout and day to day of the new policy of integrated schools through busing. They way the three women are treated is very very different, and Jamila struggles with this and with maintaining old friendships and building new ones, as well as with dating. This book deals with issues of race, class, and gender, and looks at a very specific time and place, the late sixties and early seventies in Queens, New York City, but through the eyes of family life. The narrator is also really good! Def check it out!

  8. 4 out of 5

    JoyAnn

    I thought this book was both very relatable in being about middle school life and drama but also very informational about that time and place. A lot of students aren’t going to be familiar with the 1970s in NYC or know much about school desegregation or busing. This gives good insight into that and to what it was like to be multiracial during that time. I also appreciated how the friendship between the three girls was both resilient and realistic.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Llyr Heller-Humphreys

    4.5 Beautiful upper middle grade historical fiction about family, race, heritage and finding your path in the world.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle (In Libris Veritas)

    4.5 Stars Such an amazing book. So much of this book hit home for me. I rarely see mixed-race characters in books, let alone in contemporaries, and because of that I rarely see my own experiences in media. The Long Ride gets it in one, and really shows the challenges of being mixed race in a time/area where it's not seen as normal. It's wonderfully written and a must-read for adults and young readers alike.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Afoma Umesi

    The Long Ride by Marina Tamar Budhos is an exploration of what it means to mixed-race and American. This middle-grade novel zooms in on a school desegregation effort in 70’s Queens, New York. Yet, it’s not history-focused. Author Budhos also delves into navigating the early teens, dealing with first crushes, and maintaining friendships in the midst of changing circumstances. If you enjoy middle-grade historical fiction and slice-of-life novels, this one may just be right for you. Read my full revi The Long Ride by Marina Tamar Budhos is an exploration of what it means to mixed-race and American. This middle-grade novel zooms in on a school desegregation effort in 70’s Queens, New York. Yet, it’s not history-focused. Author Budhos also delves into navigating the early teens, dealing with first crushes, and maintaining friendships in the midst of changing circumstances. If you enjoy middle-grade historical fiction and slice-of-life novels, this one may just be right for you. Read my full review here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Jamila, Francesca and Josie all live in the Cedar Gardens neighborhood of Queens, New York in 1971. For the coming school year, their neighborhood, which is largely white, will be bused to a school which is largely people of color. Since the girls are all racially mixed and somewhat unusual in their neighborhood, Jamila is interested in going to a school where she doesn't stand out for a change, even if her father is concerned about sending his daughter to a "bad" neighborhood. Before school sta Jamila, Francesca and Josie all live in the Cedar Gardens neighborhood of Queens, New York in 1971. For the coming school year, their neighborhood, which is largely white, will be bused to a school which is largely people of color. Since the girls are all racially mixed and somewhat unusual in their neighborhood, Jamila is interested in going to a school where she doesn't stand out for a change, even if her father is concerned about sending his daughter to a "bad" neighborhood. Before school starts, Francesca announces that she will be attending a private school, and this is yet another change. Jamila has a fairly good experience at her new school, although some teachers and other students are mean, and she is very concerned that the much quieter Josie is no longer in the accelerated classes because of her test scores. She starts hanging out with John, who is Black, and this causes some of the other girls to tell her she should stay with her "own" race. Jamila wants to hang out with John outside of school, but her family doesn't want her to be in his neighborhood. When he and his friend, Darren (who is interested in Josie) visit Jamila's neighborhood, they run into trouble. It's a difficult situation to navigate, and at the end of the school year, the busing is discontinued. Strengths: Finally! I've been waiting and waiting for a book on busing. Interestingly, this is similar to Sharon Robinson's story in her new Child of the Dream, in that the two girls being sent to another neighborhood were not white, which is an interesting twist. There is plenty of middle school drama with the girls, with Francesca being a little more daring and Josie being a lot less daring, and Jamila just trying to figure out how to get along at school, at home, and with her friends. I always enjoy this author's work, so was thrilled to see this one. Weaknesses: There could have been a little more discussion about busing and civil rights during this period of history. There was something about the first few chapters that I found a little confusing, and I know that my students don't have much background knowledge about this time period. I personally would have liked more period details (think Hood's Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.) What I really think: Definitely purchasing, but I wish the cover showed actual 1970s fashions. Pretty sure no one under the age of 70 wore skirts that long, and I know in Ohio, girls could only wear slacks to school in the winter!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    “You know, it’s a lot easier to be one side or the other. It’s harder to be in the middle. People don’t like the middle. That’s the bravest thing of all.” (178) Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are mixed-race best friends living in Queens, NY, in 1971. Their plans for starting seventh grade together with their white neighbors at the local junior high school change when their neighborhood becomes part of a social experiment—integration. Francesca’s parents send her to a private school where she doesn’ “You know, it’s a lot easier to be one side or the other. It’s harder to be in the middle. People don’t like the middle. That’s the bravest thing of all.” (178) Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are mixed-race best friends living in Queens, NY, in 1971. Their plans for starting seventh grade together with their white neighbors at the local junior high school change when their neighborhood becomes part of a social experiment—integration. Francesca’s parents send her to a private school where she doesn’t fit, while Josie and Jamila take a long bus ride to a predominately black school in a neighborhood much rougher than theirs. However, they hope they may fit in better there, but Jamila is too light for the girls who call her “white,” and Josie is no longer in the advanced classes and worries about her future. The girls don’t fit into their new school neighborhood and their new boyfriends don’t fit into their neighborhood. As the girls try to navigate seventh grade, boyfriends, teachers, classes, Jamila’s anger, and Josie’s shyness, narrator Jamila realizes, “If anyone had told me this was what being in junior high would be like: Your best friend is silent beside you. You’re skinny and knock-kneed and you get lost easily. You aren’t at the top of the Ferris Wheel. I’d have said: You can have it.” (60) Their world outside the neighborhood also appears to have changed. “…I’m starting to notice that something bigger is going on in the city. Everyone is edgier, angry. You can feel it in the way people squint through the bus windows…. Meanwhile, kids are expected to glide across neighborhoods and make the world right. It’s supposed to be easy…. The ride is longer and rougher than anyone ever let on.” (115-116) In this novel, author Marina Budhos shares some of her childhood experiences, the complexities of integration in ordinary neighborhoods, and the different plans—some that faltered or were unsuccessful. Adolescents today can experience history through this story, others can identify with schools that are still segregated, and, as the author states, for other readers, “…it is also about those of us who do not fit into neat racial categories” (Author’s Note, 197) and the “internal resegregation” of integrated schools. The Long Ride is another book that will introduce yet more strong girls in literature (and well as a few interesting male characters) and generate important conversations among middle grade readers.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This one would be a 3.5 for me. Most young readers will need a lot more historical context about the civil rights movement and integration in order to understand the social experiment of integration through busing being described here. I always enjoy this author's books and her willingness to tackle tough topics or explore parts of history that haven't been covered thoroughly in children's books. The story focuses on the academic year of 1971-1972 when Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are seventh gr This one would be a 3.5 for me. Most young readers will need a lot more historical context about the civil rights movement and integration in order to understand the social experiment of integration through busing being described here. I always enjoy this author's books and her willingness to tackle tough topics or explore parts of history that haven't been covered thoroughly in children's books. The story focuses on the academic year of 1971-1972 when Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are seventh graders. As part of the city's plans to integrate its public schools, the girls and several classmates are supposed to be bused from their Cedar Gardens neighborhood and predominantly-white school in Queens, New York all the way across the borough to a predominantly-black school. All three girls are from mixed-race families, which has brought them closer. They've never truly felt as though they fit in where they attend school, a point that might have benefited from further exploration, and hopeful that this will be a place where they will fit in. Although somewhat anxious about the move, they are determined to stick together and make it through the year. But Francesca parents decide that she must attend a private school, and Josie and Jamila have no classes together since Jamila is in a special program for advanced students while Josie hasn't made the cut. From the beginning, Jamila endures teasing and is singled out for harassment from some of the black girls since John, one of her black classmates, pays special attention to her. Jamila struggles to find her place and even gets in trouble a couple of times, horrifying her father because she has always been so compliant. During an outing with John and Darren, another classmate at her new school, Jamila is shocked to see the reactions of others to her friends as they are singled out as troublemakers simply because of the color of their skins. It isn't easy, but eventually, Jamila does figure out where she fits and takes on a leadership role. But the experiment ends when school closes for the summer, and Jamila will be returning to her neighborhood school. The book raises quite a few issues about the effectiveness of integration and busing and the challenges of expecting youngsters to shoulder the weight of these sorts of social changes, an idea explored further in the note from the author. I appreciated how all three girls were so very different with Francesca being more worldly and boy-crazy, and Josie much more conservative. The author hints at some of the troubles and name-calling experience by Francesca in her own new school, something that I would have liked to have explored a little more deeply. I'm sure the author had good reasons for not delving too far in that direction, but it might have made her experiences and those of the other girls more relevant if there had been more about those. Still, the book covers new territory and offers much food for thought and discussion. The title, of course, derives from those bus trips across town that lasted over an hour each way, but also seems to hint at the long, long, long ride to freedom and acceptance taken by many citizens of this nation.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anita McDivitt Barrios

    Schools in New York are desegregating in 1971, and Jamila, Josie and Francesca's plans to attend their primarily white neighborhood school in Queens are dashed. Instead, they'll be bused to a primarily African-American school an hour away. The rising 7th grade best friends, each of mixed racial and cultural backgrounds, go three very different ways -- one to private Catholic school, with uniforms and bean bag chairs, and the others to the new public school, JHS 241, where one will enter the regul Schools in New York are desegregating in 1971, and Jamila, Josie and Francesca's plans to attend their primarily white neighborhood school in Queens are dashed. Instead, they'll be bused to a primarily African-American school an hour away. The rising 7th grade best friends, each of mixed racial and cultural backgrounds, go three very different ways -- one to private Catholic school, with uniforms and bean bag chairs, and the others to the new public school, JHS 241, where one will enter the regular school population and the other will stay in the SP, or Special Program of accelerated curriculum (mostly math). The three stay friends, through thick and thin, not always liking each other or the choices they make, but they're there for each other when it matters most -- and the new friends they make. While their parents bandy around the rhetoric, ideals and aims of desegregation, the girls live it, in the worst possible environment (middle school is h*ll for most students, period), and it comes at a steep price -- but it has its subtle joys, as well. The story tackles many important issues in addition to prejudice, which is confronted on almost every page. For instance, one girl is "ability tracked" in math. It's the practice of placing students in math classes according to prior testing results, thus limiting what students can achieve by limiting their progression through math classes. My son experienced this in middle school, when his principal suddenly limited the math offered to all 8th graders in order to increase the school's standardized testing scores. It has devastating effects on achievement in high school and for college recruitment. The girls also explore their budding sexuality. There is a scene that could be interpreted as the aftermath of a sexual assault, but nothing is graphic by any means and what exactly happens is left to interpretation. Better readers will pick up on it, and teachers should be prepared to discuss what their students think has happened to the girl (it's ambiguous), how the other girl treats it, and the importance of reporting sexual assaults. The end was bittersweet. TEACHERS NOTE: There is an excellent set of ideas for lessons using The Long Ride, Exploring Race, Class, and School Integration with The Long Ride. It was featured in a School Library Journal blog post and consists of a long, very good list of "Teaching Ideas and Invitations," but does not offer actual lesson plans for teachers to use. There are also, currently, no comprehension questions offered for this book, as it's so new. If you teach this book and write lessons you'd like to share, or a set of comprehension questions to evaluate your students' progress in the text, please post a comment and let me know. I've love to hear from you! Visit my blog for more great middle grade book recommendations, free teaching materials and fiction writing tips: http://amb.mystrikingly.com/

  16. 5 out of 5

    J.C.

    **I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review** While it felt genuinely well-intentioned, this book fell very flat for me. Positives: The main character’s voice was very authentic. I liked the concept of dealing with segregation and mixed-race kids, and I thought addressing school system issues and middle graders was a great idea. . Negatives: I was confused by most the book. The plot really went nowhere; the book ends exactly where it starts, **I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review** While it felt genuinely well-intentioned, this book fell very flat for me. Positives: The main character’s voice was very authentic. I liked the concept of dealing with segregation and mixed-race kids, and I thought addressing school system issues and middle graders was a great idea. . Negatives: I was confused by most the book. The plot really went nowhere; the book ends exactly where it starts, with the characters not having grown or changed at all. Scenes jump without scene breaks, characters appear and disappear without notice, and characters draw conclusions not supported by the text, making it a very difficult story to follow. Random interactions occur consistently that do nothing to move the storyline, and the story is full of random and pointless events. No conflict is overcome, it just fades away without resolution or growth. The story was just incredibly weak, as much as I feel bad saying that, strongly lacking morals or themes. There was nothing inherently terrible per se about it, but it was just a really weak novel. Things were explained poorly or not at all; I’m still confused on the setting, and if not for a few—and I mean a few, like maybe three—lines about the girls being mixed race and segregration, I wouldn’t have even be able to tell this time period. The whole concept of switching schools was never fully explained; why they were an experiment, never really explained; just almost nothing was explained. Like the reader is just expected to understand, when in reality, we’re utterly lost. There are instances of misbehavior and references to sexual behavior, but no morality—again, the story strongly lacked in the moral and theme department. Not recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    4.5/5 for THE LONG RIDE by @mbudhos . I love perusing the shelves at my local public library. Sometimes I get lucky and find a title I haven't heard of and it turns out to be amazing. The Long Ride by Marina Budhos is a slim #mglit book about three interracial girls in 1971 who are affected by school desegregation via busing. Jamila, Josie and Francesca live in a a mostly white neighborhood in Queens, NY, but all three are mixed race. When the busing experiment is announced, families in their neig 4.5/5 for THE LONG RIDE by @mbudhos . I love perusing the shelves at my local public library. Sometimes I get lucky and find a title I haven't heard of and it turns out to be amazing. The Long Ride by Marina Budhos is a slim #mglit book about three interracial girls in 1971 who are affected by school desegregation via busing. Jamila, Josie and Francesca live in a a mostly white neighborhood in Queens, NY, but all three are mixed race. When the busing experiment is announced, families in their neighborhood are concerned and many parents place their children in private or Catholic schools, including Francesca's parents. Jamila and Josie are initially excited; they'll finally be in a school with Black students. Then they discover that they aren't in the same program; Jamila is in the gifted classes and Josie is falling further behind every day. There are other problems in their new school, as well, like fights and discrimination. Is integration worth the I can't wait to add this book to my school's library collection. The Long Ride is an important book about a topic not covered by any other books in our #historicalfiction section. It's also a quick, accessible read that tackles racism, friendship issues, and the challenges of living between two worlds as someone of mixed-race. Highly recommended for grades 5+. . #middleschoollibrarian #middleschoollibrary #library #librarian #futurereadylibs #iteachlibrary #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #librariesofinstagram #librariansofinstagram #librariesfollowlibraries #librarylife #librarianlife #schoollibrarian #middlegrade #middlegradebooks #iteach #librarylove #booksbooksbooks #amreading #bibliophile #schoollibrariansrock #bookreview #bookrecommendation #igreads #malibrary #msla #mediaspecialist

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Lately I've been noticing more middle aged or senior couples in interracial marriages than I have in the past, and I often wonder if they are later in life matches,or if these are some of the long-married couples who paved the way for families like my own. And then I've wondered what life has been like for them and their families, how they were received in their communities. I only had one good friend in childhood who had a white dad and a black mom, and my family moved away before we reached ad Lately I've been noticing more middle aged or senior couples in interracial marriages than I have in the past, and I often wonder if they are later in life matches,or if these are some of the long-married couples who paved the way for families like my own. And then I've wondered what life has been like for them and their families, how they were received in their communities. I only had one good friend in childhood who had a white dad and a black mom, and my family moved away before we reached adolescence. So I don't know how she and her siblings navigated their teen years in the 1980s and '90s, and from my perspective as a white kid, I thought that city was pretty well-integrated. As an adult, I have been curious how different reality may have been from my perceptions. I was immediately drawn to The Long Ride when I saw that it depicted the friendship of three young girls from mixed race or Black/Brown families in 1971 New York. Being the only kids who looked as they did in their neighborhood is an experience that had at time mirrored that of my own children 40+ years later. As our society increasingly becomes self-segregated, often due to white flight, many of the issues Jamila and her friends face in The Long Ride are still being faced by minority kids and the educational decisions their parents faced are still prevalent for families like ours today. Of course, Jamila also worries about boys, maintaining friendships, puberty, jealousy among peers, and other fairly universal experiences. Budhos does an excellent job showing how race, class, and gender intersect with all of this, and Jamila and her friends are easy to root for.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    The Long Ride by Marina Budhos Random House Children’s Wendy Lamb Books Children’s Fiction Pub Date 24 Sep 2019 I am reviewing a copy of The Long Ride through Random House Children’s/ Wendy Lamb Books and Netgalley: Jamila Clarke, Josie Rivera and Francesca George are three mixed race girls are close friends whose parents all immigrated to the U.S working hard so they could settle down in a neighborhood with the best schools. The girls are outsiders but they have each other until In the tumult of 1970s The Long Ride by Marina Budhos Random House Children’s Wendy Lamb Books Children’s Fiction Pub Date 24 Sep 2019 I am reviewing a copy of The Long Ride through Random House Children’s/ Wendy Lamb Books and Netgalley: Jamila Clarke, Josie Rivera and Francesca George are three mixed race girls are close friends whose parents all immigrated to the U.S working hard so they could settle down in a neighborhood with the best schools. The girls are outsiders but they have each other until In the tumult of 1970s New York City, seventh graders are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica. Jamila and Josie get bussed to the same school but Francesca is sent to a another school. At the start of the seventh grade the girls learn they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to the brand new school whose goal is to mix black and white kids. Their parents do not want them to be experiments so Francesca parents send her to a private school. Jamila and Josie find themselves having to take the bus without Francesca. While Francesca tests her limits, Josie and Jamila try to establish their footing at a school they really don’t belong in. I give The Long Ride five out of five stars! Happy Reading!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Tanner

    It pains me greatly to call this historical fiction, because I'm about the same age as the girls in the story, who are going into middle school in 1971. These three girls, Jamila, Josie, and Francesca have been best friends their whole lives. But they are going to be bussed to a different neighborhood for racial equality. Francesca's parents decide to put her into private school but Jamila and Josie go for a 45 minute bus ride each way each day to get to school. They don't know anyone so they're It pains me greatly to call this historical fiction, because I'm about the same age as the girls in the story, who are going into middle school in 1971. These three girls, Jamila, Josie, and Francesca have been best friends their whole lives. But they are going to be bussed to a different neighborhood for racial equality. Francesca's parents decide to put her into private school but Jamila and Josie go for a 45 minute bus ride each way each day to get to school. They don't know anyone so they're trying to make new friends and remain friends. Each of them deals with a different part of racism-Francesca wants to be friends and the boys treat her like a sexual object. Josie is put into lower level classes and has to work extra hard to be taken seriously as a student. Jamila is called names and threatened by girls who don't think she's black enough. It's a really interesting story. I liked how all the girls started the book with solid family structure (one of them falls apart during the book) and how the parents also had to deal with different aspects of racism. I thought it was a good story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    It's 1971, and 12-year-old friends Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are starting 7th grade at the new integrated middle school in a black neighborhood - a long bus ride away. Francesca's parents are sending her to a private school instead, so Jamila and Josie will have to make the best of it without her. They've been attending a school where the population is mostly white, so this will be a change for these mixed race girls - they will probably be outsiders here, too. Jamila sparks the interest of a It's 1971, and 12-year-old friends Jamila, Josie, and Francesca are starting 7th grade at the new integrated middle school in a black neighborhood - a long bus ride away. Francesca's parents are sending her to a private school instead, so Jamila and Josie will have to make the best of it without her. They've been attending a school where the population is mostly white, so this will be a change for these mixed race girls - they will probably be outsiders here, too. Jamila sparks the interest of a boy, right away, and his friend Darren likes Josie, so there's a good amount of middle school drama, (including a teacher taking Jamila's journal and reading it out loud!) I liked that the girls had no obvious racial connection, and in a time where civil rights were such a focus, I liked that it was hard to pigeon hole them. A nice read that may encourage the reader to look for more information about the subject. The romance was sweet and the friendships felt real. For this and more of my reviews visit http://kissthebook.blogspot.com

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aliza Werner

    3.5 A topic with so much potential exploring the dynamics and outcomes of a school busing program to tackle educational segregation. The concept is both historical and topical, however the story itself fell flat for me. With the 3 main characters’ cultures/ethnicities quickly explained in the first chapter I had trouble keeping track of them and the many secondary characters. For young readers to understand the racism and othering occurring, they need a deeper dive into negative experiences of th 3.5 A topic with so much potential exploring the dynamics and outcomes of a school busing program to tackle educational segregation. The concept is both historical and topical, however the story itself fell flat for me. With the 3 main characters’ cultures/ethnicities quickly explained in the first chapter I had trouble keeping track of them and the many secondary characters. For young readers to understand the racism and othering occurring, they need a deeper dive into negative experiences of the MCs. In that regard, much is glossed over that would have rounded out the story more: Vietnam War, interracial marriage, neighborhood & educational segregation, sexual violence, etc. Too much, and yet, not enough to make this a story that sticks with me or affects readers to prompt discussion and change.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Three bi/multi-racial girls have all been best of friends in their neighborhood school in NYC in the 1970's but a new integration plan has them taking the bus to a school over an hour away. One girl's parents decide to have her go to a private school nearby instead. The other two endure the bus ride and swear to maintain their friendship. However, one of the girls is drawn in by the Latinx crowd and the other slowly becomes friends with a boy but they can only be friends at school. Girls are in m Three bi/multi-racial girls have all been best of friends in their neighborhood school in NYC in the 1970's but a new integration plan has them taking the bus to a school over an hour away. One girl's parents decide to have her go to a private school nearby instead. The other two endure the bus ride and swear to maintain their friendship. However, one of the girls is drawn in by the Latinx crowd and the other slowly becomes friends with a boy but they can only be friends at school. Girls are in middle school, so will not hold much appeal for high school solely due to age difference. As with most historical fiction, may require a hand sell; could be a niche audience - which is a shame as I enjoyed getting to know the characters while lamenting a world where such things happened and continue to happen. The relevancy remains. A strong novel about friendship, race, and family.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Read Ribbet

    For me, the Wendy Lamb imprint is a sign of a well written (and edited) book for readers. In this case, Marina Budhos chooses to use the back drop of the integration and desegregation of schools in the 1970s to tell the stories of three junior high age biracial women who are selected to be bussed from their familiar neighborhood to a new a school intentionally integrated. One actually chooses a private school option, as the other two enroll in the new school. Budhos is wise to look through these For me, the Wendy Lamb imprint is a sign of a well written (and edited) book for readers. In this case, Marina Budhos chooses to use the back drop of the integration and desegregation of schools in the 1970s to tell the stories of three junior high age biracial women who are selected to be bussed from their familiar neighborhood to a new a school intentionally integrated. One actually chooses a private school option, as the other two enroll in the new school. Budhos is wise to look through these critical events and time through the eyes of her young characters who in trying to make adjustments are also dealing with normal life. The book reminds all readers that when public policies like these are put in place by adults, it is often the younger people who must actually deal with the consequences.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandy O'Brien

    “Oh, darlin’, when you going to learn: Most people never change. It’s the world around them that changed.” Summer of 1971. Jamila, Josie, and Francesca have just found out that they will be bussed to a school in another neighborhood for integration. The trio decides they will face this new school year head on together, but things don’t go as planned. Friendships become strained. Relationships change. They begin to see each other and those around them in a different light. Will they be able to navi “Oh, darlin’, when you going to learn: Most people never change. It’s the world around them that changed.” Summer of 1971. Jamila, Josie, and Francesca have just found out that they will be bussed to a school in another neighborhood for integration. The trio decides they will face this new school year head on together, but things don’t go as planned. Friendships become strained. Relationships change. They begin to see each other and those around them in a different light. Will they be able to navigate the new school and the growth of their friendships? • This book give shows how integration affected child, their parents, and the communities they lived in. A historical fiction must read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    * Review is of an advanced reader copy A semi interesting novel about school integration and friendship. Set in New York City in 1971, The Long Ride does a good job of portraying the positive and negative effects of school integration to an audience most likely unfamiliar with the concept. Additionally, author Marina Tamar Budhos has accurately captured the changing dynamics many friendships face as tweens become teens and their interests and lifestyles began to veer in different directions.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily Waisanen

    I was privileged to read an ARC of this through the #LitReviewCrew group. What a beautifully told story. I believe Budhos does an incredible job creating the tension and drama of middle school life among three friends, while also introducing the historical drama of integration of students in schools in 1971. This book would pair perfectly with Blended by Sharon Draper. I look forward to adding this book to my classroom. The subject matter and the length are appealing to middle school students.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Abbie

    Marina Budhos's new novel is inspired by her own experiences growing up in New York City, and while there are some parts of the story I enjoyed, the book just didn't really do much for me. Even though it's told from Jamila's perspective, it seems to mostly skim the surface of the school year. Biracial readers need to see themselves reflected in literature, but I'm not sure how much appeal this one will have. Read more at Bookish Adventures. Marina Budhos's new novel is inspired by her own experiences growing up in New York City, and while there are some parts of the story I enjoyed, the book just didn't really do much for me. Even though it's told from Jamila's perspective, it seems to mostly skim the surface of the school year. Biracial readers need to see themselves reflected in literature, but I'm not sure how much appeal this one will have. Read more at Bookish Adventures.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    The Long Ride focuses on three biracial girls living in Queens, NY in 1971. Two of them are a part of the first class to begin busing for desegregation, while the third is sent to private school. They struggle to fit in - many of the neighbors in their primarily white neighborhood either look down on them or see them as “exotic”, while many of their new peers at school see them as not “black enough”. I read this while also reading Stamped, which made for a great pairing in providing more context The Long Ride focuses on three biracial girls living in Queens, NY in 1971. Two of them are a part of the first class to begin busing for desegregation, while the third is sent to private school. They struggle to fit in - many of the neighbors in their primarily white neighborhood either look down on them or see them as “exotic”, while many of their new peers at school see them as not “black enough”. I read this while also reading Stamped, which made for a great pairing in providing more context for this time period.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Olivia S.

    It took me a while to get into this, and then I realized it's partially because I am an adult and this book is not meant for me. However, I can imagine my 6th grade students would love it. This offers a different take on integration, being set in the 70s, and I love how it brought out the fact that historically we have put the onus on children to enact changes that adults make. I would definitely add this to my classroom library, and I think that there are themes present here about growing up th It took me a while to get into this, and then I realized it's partially because I am an adult and this book is not meant for me. However, I can imagine my 6th grade students would love it. This offers a different take on integration, being set in the 70s, and I love how it brought out the fact that historically we have put the onus on children to enact changes that adults make. I would definitely add this to my classroom library, and I think that there are themes present here about growing up that would pair wonderfully with "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros.

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