Posted in 2014-2015 Club, Not Mock Newbery

Searching for Sarah Rector, by Tonya Bolden

Searching for Sarah RectorSummary:  Recounts the story of the 1914 disappearance of eleven-year-old Sarah Rector, an African American who was part of the Creek Indian people and whose land had made her wealthy, and what it reveals about race, money, and American society.


Find it at WCPL


One thought on “Searching for Sarah Rector, by Tonya Bolden

  1. This book was very interesting. The story begins with the history of the Creek Freedmen, an African American Indian Tribe, and how they faced the Trail of Tears, Civil War, and forced relocation. Then the story shifts to the early 1900’s when little Sarah Rector was born in the I.T(Indian Territory) near the newly formed state of Oklahoma. She was given an allotment of unsettled land near the Cimarron River. This land turned out to be the site of precious oil wells. With her newfound riches, Sarah finds herself subject to many legal disputes about guardians, lawyers, and finances. The press hounds her and her family throughout the book. Sarah also had to deal with the wrath and greed of her less wealthy neighbors. However, most of the book is just following who controlled her estate at what time. Whats more, Sarah was only missing for about two pages of the book, and it turned out she wasn’t even missing. Apparently it was just some made up gossip circling the news. Also, the strife and stress that she was under never shone through. It never talked about how the wealth and limelight affected her personally. But I did like how the book showed the suffering of the Indian tribes and how they were affected by settlers moving west. It showed the resilience of the people and their culture. I also liked the insight it gave me on the judicial system at that time, there were even quotes from real court hearings concerning Sarah Rector. In conclusion, I would have to say that this book would have been much more entertaining if it had focused on the history of the Creek Freedmen as a whole and not just Sarah Rector. I would not recommend it for Newbery.

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