THE RECKONING, by Wade Hudson, Crown Books for Young Readers, Jan. 2, 2024, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 8-12)
A young filmmaker’s eyes are opened to racial injustice following a senseless act of violence in The Reckoning, by Wade Hudson.
Lamar can’t wait to start his filmmaking career like his idol Spike Lee. And leave behind his small town of Morton, Louisiana. But for now, Lamar has to learn how to be a filmmaker while getting to know his grandfather.
When Gramps talks about his activism and Black history, Lamar doesn’t think much about it. Times have changed since the old Civil Rights days! Right? He has a white friend named Jeff who wants to be a filmmaker, too, even though Jeff’s parents never let him go to Lamar’s Black neighborhood. But there’s been progress in town. Right?
Then Gramps is killed in a traffic altercation with a white man claiming self-defense. But the Black community knows better: Gramps is another victim of racial violence. Protesters demand justice. So does Lamar. But he is also determined to keep his grandfather’s legacy alive in the only way he knows how: recording a documentary about the fight against injustice. —Synopsis provided by Crown Books for Young Readers
The Reckoning is a story of contemporary racism in America.
Author Wade Hudson does a good job setting the scene, especially giving readers a sense of place and history.
At the center of the story is Lamar, a bright kid who is passionate about telling stories through film. He’s got a supportive family and friends and lives in a strong community.
Lamar is a well-developed character that readers should find interesting. His relationship with his grandfather is the highlight of the book. But the other secondary characters all feel a little one note. They play their roles but fail to experience much growth.
That said, The Reckoning is a fast-moving story that’s timely and engaging.
Copyright © 2024 Cracking the Cover. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.