Once in a great while, a publisher brings an out-of-print book back into publication. Repackaged with a beautiful new cover, Julius Lester's This Strange New Feeling: Three Love Stories from Black History, winner of a Coretta Scott King honor after its original publication in 1982, is sure to find a whole new generation of teen readers. The new preface, an essay on love and empathy, lets the reader know what's to come: three stories of love, sacrifice and ingenuity in the search for freedom.
Lester tells the whole story, not just the feel-good parts. There are slaves who betray their friends and who lie to the master to save their friends. There are evil slave owners who beat their slaves to death, but there are also white people who risk their lives to help slaves. Lester gets into the hearts of his characters and, even when some don't live happily ever after, they live with the sure knowledge that they are making their own decisions, no matter what.