Grateful American Kids

Beyond the Lines

(Volume 2)
by Claudia Whitsitt

The Dream Girls—Hattie, Crackers, and Beverly Jo—are back with the same determination and resolve they displayed in Between the Lines.

This time, it’s Crackers who has a dream. She has oodles of talent, can outshoot any guy, and she wants to be the first girl on the boys’ basketball team. Everybody knows she’s the best player at school.

The problem is, the rules say: No girls allowed on the team. Ever. But the Dream Girls have challenged old-fashioned notions before, and they’re not about to give up now. Beverly Jo rocks the world with an ingenious plan, Hattie sets the wheels in motion, and Crackers gives her all.

For this threesome, nothing is impossible.

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About the Author: Claudia Whitsitt

Several years after her husband’s passport was stolen, a woman contacted Claudia claiming they were married to the same man. How could this not inspire a novel? As a result of these real-life circumstances, The Samantha Series was born. Identity Issues, Intimacy Issues, and Internal Issues are the result.

Claudia has also written two Michigan based novels, The Wrong Guy, loosely based on the Michigan Murders of the late sixties, and Between the Lines, a middle grades historical novel based on the 1967 Detroit Riots. Between the Lines has been nominated for the Michigan Notable Book Award.

What inspired Whitsitt to write the  “Between the Lines” trilogy?

She explains: Growing up in Detroit, I was always concerned about differences and wanted life to be fair. I’m not sure if I was born this way or if my upbringing rooted this belief in me, but t didn’t take long for me to learn that life is anything but fair. Still, I made it my personal mission to try and help people settle their differences in an equitable manner, and be kind to everyone, no matter how different they were from me. When the Detroit riots started on my fifteenth birthday, like Hattie, I was devastated.

But the riots also cemented this sense of wonder in me. Why couldn’t all people get along? Crackers, Beverly, and I met in college, and when I came to write a novel for my students, I couldn’t think of a better place to begin than with a story inspired by our true friendship, one that has lasted for over forty years. Some people would call me naïve, I suppose, but I firmly believe that with the right education, much like Jane Elliot’s diversity training, we could learn to celebrate differences and live together in peace. I’m sure that my sense of fairness, my fascination with learning more about how all of us negotiate the world, and my desire to make a difference led me to teaching and to the field of special education. Writing Between the Lines was a somewhat selfish endeavor for me. Now I can spend more time back in the classroom, where my heart belongs.

Follow Claudia: #friendshipiscolorblind

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