A Tugging String

Title: A Tugging String

Author: David Greenberg

Amazon Customer Review: Five Stars
Greenberg's Work Enlightens and Inspires

"David Greenberg's novel of growing up during the Civil Rights Era provides a young person's unique and personal view into a dramatic and turbulent time in our history. The son of a lawyer at the forefront of the fight for voting rights, the author deftly weaves his own coming of age tale and his struggle to fit in, with the larger events of the day.

"Greenberg's stories of battling his curly hair, being hopeless at football, and cooking with his very opinionated grandmother are funny and touching. While providing historical information about the courageous work of Dr. King and his followers, Greenberg brings his characters and his personal narrative to life with an engaging style.

"As a teacher and parent, I am always looking for books that will capture a young person's imagination, heighten understanding, and touch the heart. Greenberg's work delivers on all counts."

     Pearl McGowan
     October 19, 2008

Amazon Customer Review: Five Stars
A Tugging String helps young readers understand an incomprehensible period in American history

"David Greenberg's novel is beautiful in its simplicity. As a teacher, I often struggle with how to teach students about difficult times in American history. Greenberg's novel is a true treasure as tells the story of the civil rights era through the eyes of a young boy.

"Young Duvy has his own problems growing up and not belonging. Not a star athlete, Duvy doesn't quite fit in with the other boys in town. He prefers to spend his time in the kitchen or writing. As he finds his way, his father, civil rights attorney, Jack Greenberg, fights for others to have the right to their own ways. The parallel stories make history personal and understandable for young readers. All middle graders know what it feels like to not belong. Greenberg deftly uses this universal understanding to help young readers construct their own understandings of the civil rights era. When students understand these universal rights and truths, they have a greater appreciation for democracy and civil responsibility. A Tugging String is an important novel for the current age."

     Jenny Murray
     Durham, NC
     November 2, 2008

Amazon Customer Review: Five Stars
An important read, especially now

"This historical fiction novel is a must-read not only for children, but adults as well. Readers see through the eyes of a child growing up in the midst of history being made the incredible struggles African Americans went through just for the right to vote. Greenberg takes readers back in time to better understand the civil rights movement through everyday events in his life, such as going to see grandparents, playing with friends and dealing with unruly curly hair! However, these childhood events are interwoven with history happening in his own living room, such as having Thurgood Marshall as a frequent visitor, receiving death threats, and watching his father, civil rights lawyer Jack Greenberg, travel to the South to help defend the right to vote for all. There are several books written about that era, but this novel will helpchildren realize that the rights they have and will have to vote, come on the backs of many heroes who fought for it. It is an especially poignant time to read and share this book with many people as our country makes history with the first African American President-Elect."

     Susan E. Knell "PSU Gorilla"
     Pittsburg, KS
     November 6, 2008

Amazon Customer Review: Five Stars
A Tugging String — Loved it!

"Greenberg's novel about growing up in the Civil Rights Era is important on a couple of levels. First, it is a fascinating account of a young boy bumping up against such giants as Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr. Greenberg's father, Jack Greenberg, is a lawyer who fights to promote the civil rights of African Americans in America's south. Duvy, as Greenberg is affectionately called by his father, learns about prejudice firsthand.

"On another level, the book is a heart-felt tale of a boy's sometimes hilarious and sometimes painful process of growing up. Duvy worries about his hair, and does everything he can think of to try and tame it into smooth submission — to no avail. Duvy scores a touchdown — for the wrong team. But along the way, Duvy learns compassion, tolerance, and what it means when we say 'All men are created equal'. This is an important book. Thank you, David Greenberg, for recounting such a powerful story."

     Ann Mccallum
     November 8, 2008

Amazon Customer Review: Five Stars
Heart String Tug

"I like all the books I've read by David Greenberg, as he is a first-class poet of the younger grades (and that includes college in the case of SLUGS) but here is this new one that really defies categorization. This novel makes you smile and sometimes laugh out loud. It takes a poet to do that in prose and Greenberg's prose is intimate, funny, friendly and introspective all at the same time. A Tugging String is about Martin Luther King Jr., Jack Greenberg (David's father, the lawyer who helped King's cause at its inception), and David, or Duvy, as he is cast in the novel. The story is also about being Jewish in a time of temper, bigotry, and protest in America. A small book about big things, well told, deeply experienced."

     Gerald Hausman
     November 16, 2008

Amazon Customer Review: Five Stars
A must buy for teachers and librarians

"If you're looking for a stellar Civil Rights read that entertains and inspires, A Tugging String is your book. While reading the book aloud, my students walked with Duvy (childhood moniker of author David Greenberg) and experienced the laughter, pain, triumph and humanity of the intertwining stories: Duvy's navigation through adolescence and Jack Greenberg's role in the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960's. Iconic figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thurgood Marshall become flesh and blood for the reader as students experience the Civil Rights movement in a personal and unforgettable way.

"A Tugging String is well suited for upper elementary and middle grade readers, and should become part of the curriculum for all US school children. If your budget allows, hire David Greenberg himself to come to your school district to tell this story. He charms kids of all ages while inspiring students to stand up for what is right and noble."

     Susan Andrew
     December 2, 2008

School Library Journal Review

"Gr 5-8 — A fascinating look at the Civil Rights Movement, specifically the campaign to gain the vote for blacks in Selma, AL. The author, son of Jack Greenberg, a civil rights lawyer and director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund during the 1960s, provides a unique perspective on this time, wrapping actual events within a fictional story line. It centers around David's boyhood in Great Neck, NY, as he grows in understanding of the often-dangerous work his father does. Alternating chapters focus on Jack Greenberg's efforts in the South, the courageous individuals with whom he comes into contact (ranging from regular people to leaders such as Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr.), and the threats they all face daily. This book is at once homage of a son to his father and an exploration of a crucial moment in American history. Dad is lovingly portrayed, as is the rest of the Greenberg family. The narrative beautifully melds historical fact with imagined situations and characters (footnotes and a postscript clearly delineate between real and fictionalized events). Although didactic at times, it is clearly written and sincere, and it should prove appealing to those readers who absorb historical fact better through historical fiction."

     Carol Jones Collins
     Hanover Park High School
     East Hanover, NJ

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