As I've said a few times here on my blog, I grew up in one of the whitest places in Canada: outport Newfoundland. With a near 0% immigrant population, racism was an almost non-issue in my childhood. It put into perspective most of the punchlines on the Jeffersons and when I got older, the context of The Diary of Anne Frank, but it's hard to truly understand racism when you're surrounded by just one race.
I've since lived in many places where this has not been the case. I prefer living amongst other cultures, for the record, but I've also seen the ugliness of racism. Yet, nowhere have I seen it as bad, or at least as blatant, as in Sylvia Olsen's Yellow Line. That's not to say I don't believe the events in Yellow Line couldn't happen in many towns in Canada.
From her website:
The lines that divide are not always solid.Yellow Line is a simple read, perhaps too simple at times; sorely lacking in description and the parents lack in psychological depth to make them feel more than one-dimensional. However, it's a story/theme driven story and certainly better than most high interest/low reading level books I've come across. The teenagers felt authentic and the end is hopeful without being unrealistically wrapped up in a happy ending.
Vince lives in a small town—a town that is divided right down the middle. Indians on one side, Whites on the other. The unspoken rule has been there as long as Vince remembers and no one challenges it. But when Vince’s friend Sherry starts seeing an Indian boy, Vince is outraged and determined to fight back—until he notices Raedawn, a girl from the reserve. Trying to balance his community’s prejudices with his shifting alliances, Vince is forced to take a stand, and see where his heart will lead him.