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4.0 

A Sitting in St. James

By Rita Williams-Garcia
A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award!

7 starred reviews! "Monumental." —Booklist (starred review) * "A marathon masterpiece."—Kirkus (starred review) * "Necessary."—SLJ (starred review) * "Shocking and dramatic."—Shelf Awareness (starred review) * "Mesmerizing, confounding and vividly rendered."—Book Page (starred review) * "Williams-Garcia’s storytelling is magnificent; her voice honest and authentic."—Horn Book (starred review)

This astonishing novel from three-time National Book Award finalist Rita Williams-Garcia about the interwoven lives of those bound to a plantation in antebellum America is an epic masterwork—empathetic, brutal, and entirely human—and essential reading for both teens and adults grappling with the long history of American racism.

1860, Louisiana. After serving as mistress of Le Petit Cottage for more than six decades, Madame Sylvie Guilbert has decided, in spite of her family’s objections, to sit for a portrait.

While Madame plots her last hurrah, stories that span generations—from the big house to out in the fields—of routine horrors, secrets buried as deep as the family fortune, and the tangled bonds of descendants and enslaved, come to light to reveal a true portrait of the Guilberts.

Rita Williams-Garcia is one of the preeminent authors of our time. She has been honored with the Children's Literature Lecture Award from the American Library Association.

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14 Reviews

4.0
“A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia is based around one white family and the enslaved people who work for them that’s set around a Louisiana plantation just prior to the Civil War. This historical story is a powerful read that has a large cast of characters whom all play a major part in this book. We have the white family, mixed-race children, enslaved people who work for them; there’s a huge plotline about children and the roles they play in the family. There’s a mixed-race child, a queer child who hides their truths. This story has many plot lines that are all woven together and all matter. I really enjoyed the author, Rita Williams-Garcia, writing style. The way the story unfolded and how each character matters and played an important part. I feel like this is a good way for readers to learn and take in our country’s history of racism. I have seen a handful of people who say this is way too mature for YA and that it is adult. I can see why some may think that it does cover a lot of heavy topics but I think that the teens/older teen who will be drawn to this book will know and take in the depth and emanations that the book has. If you're looking for a hard-hitting historical read, inspired by real events. Then you’ll want to give this one a try. If you need content warnings then please look them up this book does have a lot of them.”
“I have so much to say about this book, but yet I'm at a loss for words. It is simply gorgeous. The characters: so well developed they jump off the page. (Although Jane confused me bc, historically, no one would be allowed to talk like that in society. She struck me as odd.) The plot: Entrancing. You don't want to put this book down. The setting: feels like you are in the antebellum bayou. The history: my god, the research that went into this book. The social commentary: you have to read the author's afterword about how she came to write a book about slavery from this perspective. It is absolutely essential to understanding the core of this novel. The cover: stunning. Literally everything about this book is perfect. I was engrossed in it and I feel like I need to read everything she's ever written now. Bear in mind though, I don't feel this book is YA. I read a LOT of YA and this is a bit too adult. Not content wise--although it is a bit edgy, I don't feel that should ever limit inclusion in the YA category--but just topically and the way it's written. It feels adult and any teen who reads this may be left with more questions and confusion than answers. There's a lot of nuance that would go underappreciated by a younger audience with less life experience.”

About Rita Williams-Garcia

Rita Williams-Garcia's Newbery Honor Book, One Crazy Summer, was a winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award, a National Book Award finalist, the recipient of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and a New York Times bestseller. The two sequels, P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama, were both Coretta Scott King Author Award winners and ALA Notable Children’s Books. Her novel Clayton Byrd Goes Underground was a National Book Award finalist and winner of the NAACP Image Award for Youth/Teen Literature. Rita is also the author of five other distinguished novels for young adults: Jumped, a National Book Award finalist; No Laughter Here, Every Time a Rainbow Dies (a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book), Fast Talk on a Slow Track (all ALA Best Books for Young Adults); and Blue Tights. Rita Williams-Garcia lives in Jamaica, New York, with her husband and has two adult daughters. You can visit her online at ritawg.com.

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