Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Change of Heart by Alice Walsh

Lanier Phillips was born in Georgia in USA at a time when the Klu Klux Klan threatened any African American just because of their skin colour. When Lanier was old enough he joined the American navy, but even in the navy he was treated badly.  All African American sailors were segregated during meal times and left to do the most menial jobs. 

One day during the Second World War, tragedy strikes when his ship begins to sink on a cold February night off the southeastern coast of Newfoundland. Lanier is the only black survivor of the shipwreck and when he arrives onshore the Newfoundlanders in the tiny village of St Lawrence treat him kindly and with respect. Lanier realizes that not all white people dislike him because of the colour of his skin and this helps to change his outlook on life. 

Lanier goes on to march for black rights with Martin Luther King, and does well in the navy. He remained forever grateful to the small town of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland. The story is told for children in a vibrantly illustrated picture book. Head to your local branch and request a copy!

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