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The Silence of Our Friends

Author/Illustrator: Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, & Nate Powell

Publisher: First Second

Grade levels: 6-8, 9-12

Subject: History/Social Studies

Genres: Historical Fiction, Biography/Autobiography

Special Attractions: Social Issues

Synopsis: As the civil rights struggle heats up in Texas, two families—one white, one black—find common ground. This semi-autobiographical tale is set in 1967 Texas, against the backdrop of the fight for civil rights. A white family from a notoriously racist neighborhood in the suburbs and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houston’s color line, overcoming humiliation, degradation, and violence to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman. The Silence of Our Friends follows events through the point of view of young Mark Long, whose father is a reporter covering the story. Semi-fictionalized, this story has its roots solidly in very real events. With art from the brilliant Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole) bringing the tale to heart-wrenching life, The Silence of Our Friends is a new and important entry in the body of civil rights literature.

Publishers Weekly review

School Library Journal review

Comic Book Resources review

Publisher’s discussion guide (PDF)

Author’s book page

Publisher’s book page

Awards: CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), ICv2 Pick Hit, Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens, ME Cream of the Crop Master List, Tri-State Reviews Committee Books of Note – Master List