Breakout!

Nora Tucker and her best friend, Lizzie, have grown up in Wolf Creek, a small town in upstate New York where the economy revolves almost completely around the maximum security prison where Nora’s father is the superintendent.  The two girls and new friend Elidee, a black girl who has recently moved to Wolf Creek so she and her mother can be closer to her brother who is an inmate at the prison, anticipate a summer filled with ice cream and swimming. When two prisoners escape from the largely minority jail, however, tensions in the town begin to rise.  Nora is confused about Elidee’s reluctance to openly support the corrections staff, police, and volunteers involved in the manhunt, unaware of the isolation the young girl feels as one of only a few blacks in Wolf Creek.  As Nora and Lizzie write brief reports about the event and Elidee responds with poetry inspired by Jacqueline Woodson and Lin-Manuel Miranda that the three will submit for a school time capsule project, the girls begin to question just how welcoming their town really is.  An amazing coming of age story about recognizing what has been in plain sight all along.

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