Tulsa Author Jennifer Latham Offers "Dreamland Burning: A Novel"
On this edition of ST, we welcome the Tulsa-based author Jennifer Latham back to our show. Her recently published YA novel, "Dreamland Burning," is a suspenseful narrative about the Tulsa Race Riot. As was noted of this book in an appreciative review from School Library Journal: "Latham follows up 'Scarlett Undercover' with a rich work that links past and present in a tale that explores racial prejudice. After the remains of a skeleton are found in her Tulsa, OK, backyard, 17-year-old Rowan Chase becomes consumed with finding out the story behind the death. As she digs into the mystery, Rowan's contemporary perspective alternates with that of another Tulsa teen: Will, a 17-year-old in the 1920s. Though separated by decades, the characters' lives intersect as the mystery of the skeleton unfolds in both time periods. Race, social inequalities, and entitlement are subjects the teens grapple with as they enter adulthood, Rowan in the current day and Will during the Tulsa race riots of 1921. Latham's enthralling, expertly paced plot will keep readers engaged, and the detailed imagery creates a strong sense of place in both time periods. The occasional mature language is deftly integrated and realistic for both the situations and the protagonists, who are relatable and well-developed.... Mystery fans will enjoy this cleverly plotted, suspenseful work, while the broader social issues will draw a wide audience. Educators will also find this title useful as a selection for discussion and cross-curricular lessons." Please note: Latham will also participate in the Tulsa Library Trust's Chapters event, which is a fundraiser for adult literacy programs. More about this event, happening on September 7th, can be found here.