Dreamland Burning | Jennifer Latham


Dreamland Burning
Jennifer Latham
Little, Brown and Company, 2017
365 pages

Trigger Warnings: violence, massacre, racism

About the Author: Dreamland Burning, Is Jennifer Latham’s second novel and has received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and School Library Journal, was an Amazon Editors’ Top 20 YA Book of 2017, a New York Public Library Top YA of 2017, a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Teen Book of 2017, a Shelf Awareness Top Teen Book of 2017, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and was recognized with an honorable mention for the Grateful American Book Prize. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband and two daughters.

I don’t believe that history holds easy answers or simple lessons, because those answers and lessons are stretched out over thousands—millions—of untold stories.

But I do believe that if we seek those stories out, and if we listen to them and talk to each other with open hearts and minds, we can start to heal. I believe that good people working together can create meaningful change.

Dreamland Burning follows two points of view: Rowan, living in modern day Tulsa, and William, living in 1921 Tulsa. When Rowan finds a skeleton buried in the backyard of her family’s estate, she is faced with learning the brutal truth of what happened during the Tulsa race riot of 1921. The awareness of the body forces Rowan to re-evaluate her privileged life while the riots themselves must force William to re-evaluate his. Though they have nearly one hundred years of history between them, they both must reconcile with the truth of their hometown.

The split point of view between William and Rowan offers a unique perspective into the culture and society of each narrator’s time period. With change of tone, speech, and references, the reader is able to completely fall into the two separate worlds. The mystery of the crimes and the riots keeps the reader in suspense until the very end.

PRR Writer, Nora Gaarder