Full Cicada Moon
Mimi, protagonist of Marilyn Hilton's Full Cicada Moon, is en
route by bus from California to Vermont where they will meet up with
her father and see their new home. As her mother sews, Mimi fills out
a form for her new school. She's having difficulty with the ethnicity
question. She's only supposed to check one option. However, she's
Japanese on her mother's side and black on her father's.
Oh, yeah, the year is 1969 when a lot of people had problems
with what they called mixing of the races, mongralization, or
miscegenation. Mimi and her mother are headed into one of the most
white states in the nation.
Her mixed racial heritage is not the only thing that makes Mimi
stand out in her new school. She's very much ahead of her time. She
aspires to be nothing less than an astronaut. That was well before
the current push for girls and women in the STEM disciplines. She
also protests girls being kept out of shop and boys barred from home
ec in an age when it was assumed wives would cook and sew and husbands
would handle the carpentry and mechanics related honey do lists.
Will she ever fit into her new home?
This coming of age novel, beautifully told in free verse, is a
wonderful read for folks who have lived long enough to remember those
times and their children and in some cases grands. It would be
perfect for a mother-daughter book club.
On a personal note, the fictitious Mimi and I would have been chums.
I was out there in all the same ways she was. I had a best friend
whose family had death threats and rocks thrown through their windows
because her mom was white and her dad was black. I got kicked out of
a fundamentalist church for trying to explain that the "heathens" in
the middle east they had their hearts set on converting had their own
perfectly legitimate religion--Islam. I protested the war and made no
effort to hide my gender inappropriate interests or my intelligence.
A great big shout goes out to people like doctors and nurses and
police and firefighters who will serve and protect the rest of us this
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod