A Library of the School of EducationDPIUW-Madison School Of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonUW-Madison LibraryUW-Madison Catalog
About the CCBC
Authors and Illustrators
Recommended Books for Children and Young Adults
CCBC Calendar and Events
CCBC Podcasts
CCBC Publications
Intellectual Freedom

Support the CCBC
Support the CCBC
Are you a...K-12 TeacherLibrarianEarly Childhood Care ProviderUW Student / Faculty

My Mother the Cheerleader

by Robert Sharenow

Published by Laura Geringer Books / HarperCollins, 2007
289 pages
ISBN: 0061148970

Ages 11-14

Louise Collins is the thirteen-year-old daughter of a cheerleader: her mother is one of the women who jeers at six-year-old Ruby Bridges each morning when she walks into William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Like most white children, Louise is taking part in a boycott of the school to protest desegregation. Most days, while her mother is at the school making a scene, Louise is at home working in her mother’s boarding house, where she cleans, does dishes, and waits to welcome the few guests who come to stay. She’s intrigued by a cultured, intellectual guest from New York, Morgan Miller, who always treats her with respect and who seems genuinely interested in her opinions of the books she’s read. Louise’s mother, who regularly throws herself at the single male guests, is intrigued by Morgan Miller, too. But Mr. Miller is different from the others: he doesn’t take advantage of her flirtations as other men do. On a snooping expedition to find out more about this gentle man, Louise learns that Mr. Miller is both Jewish and a Communist, facts that challenge everything she has learned about the social order. Characterizations of Louise, her mother, and Morgan Miller are particularly strong in a story told in Louise’s sardonic voice. This engaging, unusual novel set in 1960 offers a point of view not often seen in literature for youth about the Civil Rights Movement.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

book cover
Book of the Week

In accordance with the UW-Madison Accessibility Policy, this site makes every effort to comply with the World Wide Web standards defined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508, specifically subsections 1194.22 and subsection 1194.31. If you need additional resources or have any questions or concerns about this site, please contact the site administrator for more information.
UW crest