On a hot day in July 1919, five black youths went swimming in Lake Michigan, unintentionally floating close to the “white” beach. An angry white man began throwing stones at the boys, striking and killing one. Racial conflict on the beach erupted into days of urban violence that shook the city of Chicago to its foundations. This mesmerizing narrative draws on contemporary accounts as it traces the roots of the explosion that had been building for decades in race relations, politics, business, and clashes of culture.


“This well-documented text outlines the events leading to the race riot in Chicago in the summer of 1919, which caused 38 deaths and more than 500 injuries… a detailed and accessible history…This solid entry covers a topic not often mentioned in YA literature, and will support researchers looking for balanced coverage for history, civil rights, and economics reports.” — Booklist

“Richly illustrated with contemporary photographs, the narrative is also carefully researched, drawing on accounts from the time…It is successful in demonstrating that past conflicts, like current ones, have complex causes..A comprehensive, careful account.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A vivid chronicle with no shortage of contemporary relevance.” Publishers Weekly

 “Powerful stories of resistance and inspiring profiles of John Jones, Ida B. Wells, and others… A worthy and gripping account.”  — School Library Journal


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