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Lena and the Burning of Greenwood: A Tulsa Race Massacre Survival Story
Lena and the Burning of Greenwood: A Tulsa Race Massacre Survival Story
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Reviewed Titles New Releases Accelerated Reader
Girls Survive

Lena and the Burning of Greenwood: A Tulsa Race Massacre Survival Story

In the early 1920s, the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the wealthiest Black community in the United States. But Tulsa is still a segregated city. “Black Wall Street” and white Tulsa are very much divided. Twelve-year-old Lena knows this, but she feels safe and sheltered from the racism in her successful, flourishing neighborhood. That all changes when Dick Rowland, a young Black man from Greenwood, is accused of assaulting a white woman. Racial tensions boil over. Mobs of white citizens attack Greenwood, terrorizing Black residents and businesses, and forcing many—including Lena and her family—to flee. Now Lena must help her family survive one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. Readers can learn the real story of the Tulsa Race Massacre from the nonfiction backmatter, including a glossary, discussion questions, writing prompts, and author's note, in this Girls Survive story.

GenreHistorical Fiction
Reading LevelGrades 3-5
Interest LevelGrades 3-7
Lexile Level580L
ATOS Level3.9
AR Points2
AR Quiz #515221
Text TypeLiterature: Narrative
PublisherStone Arch Books
BrandGirls Survive
Page Dimensions5 1/4" x 7 1/2"
Page Count112
BindingReinforced Library Binding
List Price: $26.65 School/Library Price

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Kirkus Reviews

""This well-plotted fictionalized account of the Tulsa Race Massacre geared at young readers is emotionally challenging but necessary. Smith’s narrative deftly captures a child’s emotional and psychological experience of the tragedy as well as the tenderness shared among Lena and her family members. Jenai’s black-and-white digital illustrations, which appear every few pages, depict only Black characters and help readers imagine the historical setting. The thoughtful, informative backmatter will help adults lead discussions with children. . . .An unflinching account of the Tulsa Race Massacre seen through the eyes of a young Black girl. "" - Kirkus Reviews

January 15, 2022

Nikki Shannon Smith

Nikki Shannon Smith

Nikki Shannon Smith is from Oakland, California, but she now lives in the Central Valley with her husband and two children. She has worked in Elementary Education for over twenty-five years, and writes everything from picture books to young adult novels. When she’s not busy with family, work, or writing, she loves to visit the coast. The first thing she packs in her suitcase is always a book.

Go to the Author’s Page →