by A.B. Westrick
Middle grade fiction, Ages 10 and up
It’s been my pleasure to know A.B. Westrick for several years. We’ve worked together in school-based and community settings on many projects related to reading and writing. She is a stickler for details and likes to get things right.
Her middle-grade debut novel, Brotherhood, is a precise and compelling story about a community undergoing rapid-fire change. Set in Richmond, Virginia, just two years after the end of the Civil War, Brotherhood authentically depicts a boy’s struggle to change his heart and his ways.
It’s a dangerous venture to lead a double life, as the main character, Shad Weaver quickly finds out. He runs with the KKK at night and secretly takes reading lessons from a young black teacher by day. Shad sees and participates in things that he shouldn’t. A burden of shame and secrecy binds Shad up with fear and confusion. Yet, Shad does realize all that is at stake. People’s lives are in danger and only Shad can help, but he will have to speak the truth. Continue reading