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My Mother the Cheerleader by Robert Sharenow

My Mother the Cheerleader (2007)

by Robert Sharenow

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2281176,646 (3.82)5
  1. 00
    Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: They are set in Jim Crow New Orleans and are narrated by teenage girls.
  2. 00
    Friendship For Today by Patricia C. Mckissack (meggyweg)
  3. 00
    Sources of Light by Margaret McMullan (meggyweg)

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3.5 ( )
  CommunityLibrarian | Nov 26, 2015 |
As much as I’m tired of books that tell stories of integration from the perspective of white kids, this seemed like a new angle. What do you do when the mother you love is a very public and violent racist, in the name of protecting you and your “way of life”? What would you have to experience to make you see her actions as wrong? Unfortunately, Louise’s mom is a pretty awful mother and this is a pretty disappointing book. (http://www.parenthetical.net/2012/06/08/review-my-mother-the-cheerleader-by-robe...) ( )
  SamMusher | Mar 30, 2013 |
The title of this book in itself taught me something--that when Ruby Bridges, the first African-American to go to a formerly all-white school, started at the school, a group of grown women gathered there every day to harass and taunt her. These women were called "the Cheerleaders." This book really opened my eyes to the racial tension in the south during the civil rights movement. Can you believe white families were so upset that rather than have their child go to school with black children, they just kept them home from school for months? In addition to getting a good history lesson, the book has a great story about a girl and her mother. ( )
  deforestRMS | Sep 20, 2011 |
History looks different when it is seen through the eyes of a child! Very thought-provoking book...it would be great to read in a history class when talking about Ruby Bridges & desegregation ( )
  MrsHillReads | Sep 9, 2009 |
Sharenow takes the reader into the world of white supremacists like the Cheerleaders, the women who jeered at six-year-old Ruby Bridges as she walked into her elementary school in New Orleans's Ninth Ward in 1960. Louise is thirteen, and her mother Pauline has pulled her out of school to protest desegregation. Pauline spends her mornings screaming with the Cheerleaders and her afternoons drinking herself into oblivion while Louise runs her boarding house, Rooms on Desire.When Morgan Miller, a Jewish editor from New York, briefly stays at the boarding house, both Louise and her mother are fascinated. Morgan has come south to renew his broken relationship with his family, but quickly becomes involved in a conflict with members of the Klan. By eavesdropping on her mother's conversations with Morgan, Louise finds out things about herself and her mother she had never known. Pauline is both more broken and more loving than Louise had ever realized. What comes as a result of the book's tragic ending shows how courage and strength are imperfect yet present, even within the most racist of characters. ( )
  camcleod | Apr 27, 2009 |
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Acts of courage come in all shapes and sizes
For my parents, Arthur and Judith Sharenow
First words
My mother was a Cheerleader, but not the type of cheerleader you're probably thinking of.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Louise Collins was pretty certain that nothing all that exciting would happen in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, where she lived with her mother in their boarding house, Rooms on Desire. Every day was almost the same: serve cranky Mr. Landroux his meals in bed, visit Antoine's Pick-a-Chick with Charlotte, and wear out the pages of her favorite novels by reading them over and over. But when desegregation begins, Louise is pulled out of school and her mother joins the Cheerleaders, a group of local women who gather every morning to heckle six-year-old Ruby Bridges, William Frantz Elementary's first African-American student.

Then one day a Chevy Bel Air with a New York license plate pulls up to the house and out steps Morgan Miller, a man with a mysterious past. For the first time, Louise feels as if someone cares about what she thinks. But when the reason for Morgan's visit comes to light, everything Louise thinks she knows about her mother, her world, and herself changes, abruptly and irrevocably. This is a tour-de-force debut.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061148962, Hardcover)

Acts of courage come in all shapes and sizes.

In the tumultuous New Orleans of 1960, thirteen-year-old Louise Collins finds her world turned upside down when a stranger from the North arrives at her mother's boarding-house. Louise's mother spends her mornings at the local elementary school with a group of women known as the Cheerleaders, who harass the school's first black student, six-year-old Ruby Bridges, as she enters the building. One day a Chevy Bel Air with a New York license plate pulls up, and out steps Morgan Miller, a man whose mysterious past is eclipsed by his intellect and open-manner—qualities that enchant mother and daughter alike. For the first time, Louise feels as if someone cares what she thinks, even if she doesn't know what she believes. But when the reason for Morgan's visit is called into question, everything Louise thinks she knows about her mother, her world, and herself will change.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Thirteen-year-old Louise uncovers secrets about her family and her neighborhood during the violent protests over school desegregation in 1960 New Orleans.

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