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Susan Marcus Bends the Rules
by Jane Cutler

Trade Binding | 112 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 | US$ 16.95
ISBN: 9780823430475 | 03-01-2014

Also available as an ebook.

Grade: FIFTH | Age: 8 to 12

Themes: Historical Fiction, Human & Civil Rights, Racism & Prejudice, Friendship, Fairness, Justice & Equality, African American Interest
Recommendations: A, LMC, SLJ

CCSS Codes:
3-7: SL. 1
4-7: RL. 3, 6

About the Book

As a New York-to-Missouri transplant in 1943, ten-year-old Susan Marcus discovers a world of prejudice right in her own backyard and takes a small but courageous stand toward equality.

You wouldn't even know there was a war on, thinks Susan Marcus as she surveys her new neighborhood in Clayton, Missouri. There are no air raid wardens, no black-out curtains. It's so different from her old home in New York City, no tall apartment buildings, no bustling city streets. Worst of all, for the first time in her life, ten-year-old Susan encounters prejudice—against New Yorkers, Jews, blacks, and the Japanese. She must be circumspect about her friendship with Loretta (the daughter of the black janitor), for Jim Crow laws still exist in Missouri. Outraged, Susan decides to strike a blow against them. She's not going to break the rules exactly, she's just going to bend them.


“By using Susan as the narrator, Cutler lets readers see life under Jim Crow through multiple perspectives. . . . An enjoyable chapter book with great potential for discussion.”—Booklist

“Children will cheer for Susan’s courage in defying the injustice in her world."—School Library Journal

Educators' Guide
Educator's Guide featuring questions for classroom discussion and suggestions for further exploration.