Charlesbridge. Sept. 2023. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781623543808.
Gr 3-7–Waters and Sorell’s novel in verse, told in alternating perspectives, tackles the relevant topic of racist imagery in mascots. In the football town of Rye, VA, Callie, who is Black and a member of the Cherokee Nation, shares her earnest poem in eighth-grade honors English class about using Indigenous peoples as mascots. Their teacher then sets up a formal debate to address the pros and cons of the school’s Indigenous mascot. The diverse group of students have varied backgrounds and strong feelings about the issue. As they work through their debate, questions about what is right emerge, friendships are tested, and what it means to be an ally is brought forth. Each character grows throughout the book. However, as in life, the issue remains sensitive and unresolved.
VERDICT Highly recommended as a pick for classrooms to use in debate and conversations; a timely and important novel.

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