Read Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial by Ronald Kidd Online

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The author of Sizzle & Splat takes readers back in time to 1925 to the famous Scopes Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tennessee. This novel unfolds from the point of view of a 15-year-old girl, a student of John Scopes....

Title : Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial
Author :
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ISBN : 9781416905721
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial Reviews

  • Jennifer Lynn Harrison
    2019-01-25 10:01

    I liked it, but this is absolutely more 'coming of age' story than a great depiction of the trial (it IS YA, so the trial is the backdrop for the 'last childhood' summer of Fran). If you're looking for a good examination of the actual TRIAL, please read the wonderful play, 'Inherit the Wind' instead. This is a good introduction to the idea of Creationism .vs. Evolution, though, and I can see myself using this text in my future Ethics classes for 9th graders. --Jen from Quebec :0)

  • Amy
    2019-01-25 04:56

    Dayton is a sleepy little town nestled in the mountains of Tennessee. It is long across and about two miles wide. Despite being the home of Bryan College, a school with over 800 students from around the world, it clings persistently to its small-town feel. The local librarians know the gossip on almost everyone and a trip to Wal Mart inevitably becomes a socializing experience. The “big cities” of Hixson and Chattanooga offer malls, movie theaters, and museums when local entertainment proves uninspiring. McDonalds is the hot-spot for post-prom parties and live gospel music on Thursday nights. It is the sort of community where moonshine making, tobacco chewing, Confederate flag flying teens park next to tiny, wrinkled old ladies who live in tumbled down houses and thoughtfully recall their graduation from Bryan College, fifty years ago. People tend to come to Dayton and just never leave. Local attractions include Harmony House (an adorable little cafe that grinds its own coffee and closes at six o’clock on weekdays) and SnowBiz (I heartily recommend the Bryan Lion with cream, best snow cone I’ve ever had). Overall, it is your typical little Tennessee town that probably would have disappeared years ago if it weren’t for one very important event. In 1925, the community leaders of Dayton decided to host the “debate of the century”…in a court room. The Scopes Trial fired the evolution v. creation debate in the United States and brought national attention to one tiny little town. Though relatively forgotten by most of the world, Dayton persistently clings to the memory of that momentous summer. The novelMonkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial by Ronald Kidd reviews the beginning and events of the trial through the eyes of a fifteen year old girl. It is a coming of age novel about the struggles of learning, growing, and first love. Frances Robinson attends Rhea County High school and works at her Dad’s drugstore. She also is madly in love with her teacher, John T. Scopes. She wears her hair short, plays the piano, and believes her Dad in infallible. That is, until the city leaders cook up a plan to put Dayton on the map and Scopes on the witness stand. Suddenly, Dayton is submerged with sneering reporters, fast talking preachers, and monkeys dressed in suits. Quaint Dayton is suddenly “Monkey Town”, the laughing stock of the U.S. She discovers that maybe her Dad isn’t so honest and begins to doubt the truth of the Bible. After all, if scientist say it is inaccurate, could the Scriptures really be true? And can a town be good when it puts a man on trial for publicity?Monkey Town surprised me. It is a well-written book. The writing style is enjoyable for its intended teenage audience and Kidd does a good job representing the trial. He portrays the town and people of Dayton kindly and, I think, fairly. In fact, if the book stuck to the trial, it might have been really good. But Kidd attempts a coming of age story in his rendition of the trial, something in the flavor ofTo Kill A Mockingbird, and that is where he goes wrong. It is not necessarily in how he forms Francis’s transformation, but in the rather pulled-together way he does it. The first problem is Francis’s crush on John Scopes. While a teenage girl probably would like her handsome young teacher, Kidd has obviously never been a fifteen-year-old girl with a crush. She’s so…logical about it. Maybe two or three times, she pictures their future together and spends a few paragraphs contemplating their coming lives, throws in a sentence or two about his blond hair, but otherwise seems to set her crush aside in watching the preceding. She doesn’t seem to upset about his leaving for the summer, or for forever. She allows annoying, nagging worries to puzzle her about how they were “ruining him as a man”…allowing for convenient conversations and “thought monologues” about truth and goodness and the Bible. None of them are that compelling.The second problem with the book is that Francis is, frankly, an unreliable narrator. What I mean by that is, despite Kidd’s generally fair coverage of the situation, there is an inherent bias neatly hidden in Francis’s “coming of age.” She’s “one of them” (a person of Dayton, a “Christian”) but because of her love of Scopes, doubts. And because she “doubts” she sees…the truth? Well, so we’re led to believe. By the end, Francis has pondered the deep issues of life and come to her own satisfying conclusions. Excuse me if I am skeptical of how easy it all is. What makes a book likeTo Kill A Mockingbird great? Scout, while growing up, realizes she doesn’t have all the answers and that adulthood is a lot harder than it looks. Not so with Francis. Francis tells her Father she believes a little of Christianity and a little of evolution and is quite satisfied with that. She makes up with her friend, fixes her relationship with her family by standing firm on her new beliefs, and ponders the complexity of people when considering the journalist H.L. Mencken. The Francis we are introduced to at the beginning of the book has a shallow faith and an “innocent outlook” on life. Her “struggle” to let go of her “comfortable blanket of truths” (like, the Bible being infallible) is hardly a struggle, and by the end, Francis has simply switched her beliefs to another un-proven and rather shallow stance. There is something trite about Francis’s “coming of age.” Perhaps the problem isMonkey Town tries to reveal truths about life and growing up, but only manages to make it half-way. In many ways, Dayton hasn’t changed much since 1925. The courthouse now has a statue of William Jennings Bryan out front and a war memorial where anxious reporters once stood. Wal Mart has replaced Robinson’s Drug store but Baylor High school is still Rhea County’s rival. There is one important difference though. Something that might have benefited fifteen-year-old Frances Robinson a great deal, and actually did change the real Francis Robinson’s life. It’s a school on a hill, a school built at the recommendation of William Jennings Bryan. Now, I admit, I’m a little partial to Bryan College. I go there. I live in a dorm called Robinson, named after the F.E. Robinson, the real Francis Robinson’s Father. But William Jennings Bryan, and the men who founded what was originally known as William Jennings Bryan University, realized that the Scopes Trials was more than a publicity stunt. It was more than a bunch of southern hicks putting a biology teacher on trial for teaching against the beliefs of the Bible Belt. It was more than trying a law on the Tennessee books. The Scopes Trial was a clash of ideologies. Not all Christians were or are the fickle, rather shallow, people presented in this book. They sought Truth and defense of the Truth. Monkey Town is not a book I would go out of my way to recommend. It was, frankly, a good attempt at something deep that concluded weakly. It is well-written and a book teenagers will appreciate. But it is not excellent. It is accurate in a factual way, but missing when it comes to several key elements about those who hosted the trial and why they did it. It is, simply, a nice book that misses the point.

  • Drew
    2019-02-06 06:02

    The book Monkey Town by Ronald Kidd portrays an all American, Christian town that goes through a giant change. The book follows a girl named Frances Robinson living in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee. Frances has always lived by the rules of the church and the beliefs of her father, but when a large, attention hogging, publicity filled trial sweeps through town, everything that she has ever known is challenged. The book shadows the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, showing how it affected the country and the families within it. I believe that the message of this book is that change is good, and that even though keeping traditional ways and beliefs are important, bringing in new ones is what propels our world forward. Even though this book had simple writing, I enjoyed because the simplicity of the writing was balanced by the complexity of the story. Ronald Kidd forced the reader to experience the feelings of a girl developing thoughts for herself, a very puzzling thing.

  • Derek
    2019-02-01 08:07

    Brings up the question of Creation vs Evolution but the book doesn't take a stand either way. The ending is very anti-climatic.

  • QNPoohBear
    2019-02-20 05:03

    It's the summer of 1925 and hot as you know where in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee. Frances Robinson beats the heat by sipping ice cold Coca Colas in her father's drugstore and following her crush, Johnny Scopes, a teacher, around. Frances has grand visions of Johnny coming to appreciate her and love her one day soon. Her loyalty to Johnny is tested when Mr. Robinson, a member of the school board, questions Johnny about his teaching. Johnny admits he may have taught evolution when he was substituting for the usual science teacher. Even though it's in the textbook, teaching evolution is against the law in TN. Mr. Robinson and his friends decide that Johnny is the perfect person to test the power of the ACLU and see how the law holds up to a trial. Mr. Robinson is convinced that no harm will be done to Johnny and that the trial will bring in much-needed tourists and publicity. As the "trial of the century" begins, Frances begins to question everything she's been taught and understand that her father may not be the superman she always believed him to be. Before the summer is over, Dayton will be shaken to the core and nothing will ever be the same again.I went into this book thinking I knew everything about the case from having studied Inherit the Wind in Junior High. The English, Social Studies and Science teachers combined to have us act out the play as we studied the play, government and evolution. It is one of my only happy memories of that time. I was quite shocked and sad to discover that the play is a highly fictionalized account of what actually happened! The real story is a bit less dramatic. The author of this book had to add in some drama to make it interesting. Though it's almost 90 years later, I feel the story is very relevant - more so than when I studied it in Junior High 70 years after the fact. I can easily see this happening again and I know that the questions raised in the novel are still relevant. I really liked how the author based the story on a real life woman but made the character a young adult instead of a little girl. It made the impact of the story more realistic and relevant to teens. Frances is a complicated character. I wanted to like her but I didn't really. I found her annoying and selfish at first and very naive and silly at times. Yet, I did like her coming-of-age plot. I could relate to some of the questions she felt and coming to terms with the fact her Daddy has feet of clay. The author portrays a teen girl very accurately. Frances grew on me as she started to question everything. Johnny Scopes is a minor character in the story. He's kind and friendly and rather bland. He isn't a fighter and he worries mainly about his job security. I felt bad for him because he was a victim in the whole thing.I did not like Frances' father or the other men in town. I saw Frances' father as egotistical and a big dreamer. He came across as kind of slimy to me. On the other hand, I actually liked H. L. Mencken. Some of what he said was cruel but mostly he told the truth. I don't know much about him but he would be at home in today's world of tabloid journalism and snarky Twitter comments. At the same time, I liked how Frances got to know him and see a different side of him and how he made her think about the world around her. I was hoping for more Clarence Darrow vs. William Jennings Bryan. My favorite part of the trial is when Darrow puts Bryan on the witness stand. I was surprised and sad at Darrow's feelings on the outcome of the trial.If you don't know anything about the Scopes Monkey Trial then I would recommend this book. I would also recommend it to young teens. They could learn quite a lot from it.

  • Tranna Foley
    2019-02-06 12:21

    When her father hatches a plan to bring publicity to their small Tennessee town by arresting a local high school teacher for teaching about evolution, the resulting 1925 Scopes trial prompts fifteen-year-old Frances to rethink many of her beliefs about religion and truth, as well as her relationship with her father. - Summary from library catalogI so enjoy historical fiction and this book (like most) provides an author's note at the end with more information. Don't every skip that part of a historical fiction book! :) Kidd does a great job telling about this very famous trial (or publicity stunt?) and incorporating the story of a young girl growing up and learning to think, question, and believe.Review from School Library Journal:In Ronald Kidd's fictionalized re-creation (S & S, 2006) of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, Frances Robinson, 15, filters events of that summer through the lens of friendship and loyalty in this first person account of history in the making. Originally orchestrated as a publicity stunt to bring commerce to the small town, the trial soon becomes more like a three-ring circus than an act of justice. Clarence Darrow comes to Dayton, TN, to defend local teacher, Johnny Scopes, while William Jenning Bryan leads the prosecution. Kidd brings these larger-than-life characters to fruition in this semi-factual, semi-biographical tale. Period detail, such as the innovation of Lazy Susans and the pervasiveness of Coca-Cola as a fountain drink, abounds. Ashley Albert provides a variety of Southern accents for the characters. Frances comes across as a wholesome, open-minded teen who is shaken to the core by her teacher's arrest and the events of the trial. In an afterword to the novel, Kidd provides information about the trial and the real Frances Robinson. This fast-paced novel blending history with a coming-of-age story will be popular in most public and school libraries.

  • Kimberlynn Uhl
    2019-02-13 12:16

    This was a rather interesting book that would most likely be targeted to a middle school aged students. The book is told from the view point of a fifteen-year-old girl in the 1920's. The town is in search of more publicity to bring more people into their small town. To do this, they arrest a young teacher for teaching a small segment in a biology class over Evolution. The entire arrest was staged as well as the trial that followed. The town promised that Mr. Scopes, the teacher who was arrested, wouldn't be hurt or affected by this trial but in reality he was. The town ultimately got what they wanted because the trial attracted some very prominent people into their town who wanted to be a part of the trial as well as bringing in many other civilians. The book brings up many different points of view on religion and evolution which would make this a fairly controversial book in the class room. Although it was a really good book it would depend on the stipulations that schools my have when it comes to presenting this book to a classroom. It definitely would make students think about their religious views which many parents and administrators would most likely have issues with. Therefore, I may suggest this as a good book for students to read on their own but I don't believe that I would probably choose to use this as a book in the classroom.

  • Maureen Milton
    2019-02-06 12:00

    My 10-year-old and I listened to this title on CD and found it well written, interesting and informative about the circumstances surrounding the Scopes Monkey Trial. The protagonist, 15-year-old Frances Robinson, is based on a friend's forebear who lived through the trial in Dayton, Tennessee when she was 8. The author characterizes John Scopes as a willing participant in Frances's father's publicity stunt--arresting Scopes for teaching evolution (part of the state-distributed textbook). The big boys arrive, Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, and H.L. Mencken--all of whom are clearly delineated, Mencken most lovingly in his irascibility. Of course, Frances comes of age amid the trial, realizing that Scopes is an unlikely crush and that her father and his cronies are mortal. Of course, the guilty verdict seemed a surprise to both listeners, even when the older of us knew the outcome in advance. There are some threats of violence (townspeople want to lynch Mencken for disparaging Dayton & its residents), implications of hanky-panky (when Scopes's opponents pay a woman to kiss Scopes while a photographer takes incriminating pictures), and perhaps a less flattering depiction of Bryan, all of which makes for a fine read. As always, the students will tell.

  • Charli
    2019-02-06 04:11

    SLJ review:Grade 6 Up–In Ronald Kidd’s fictionalized re-creation of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, Frances Robinson, 15, filters events of that summer through the lens of friendship and loyalty in this first person account of history in the making. Originally orchestrated as a publicity stunt to bring commerce to the small town, the trial soon becomes more like a three-ring circus than an act of justice. Clarence Darrow comes to Dayton, TN, to defend local teacher, Johnny Scopes, while William Jenning Bryan leads the prosecution. Kidd brings these larger-than-life characters to fruition in this semi-factual, semi-biographical tale. Period detail, such as the innovation of Lazy Susans and the pervasiveness of Coca-Cola as a fountain drink, abounds. Ashley Albert provides a variety of Southern accents for the characters. Frances comes across as a wholesome, open-minded teen who is shaken to the core by her teacher’s arrest and the events of the trial. In an afterword to the novel, Kidd provides information about the trial and the real Frances Robinson. This fast-paced novel blending history with a coming-of-age story will be popular in most public and school libraries.–Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI

  • Donura
    2019-02-19 05:59

    GRRRRREAT!! Couldn’t put down. There are not enough superlatives to describe how wonderful this book retells one of the famous trials of the 20th century in this country. I wish all stories in history could be incorporated into a historical novel of this caliber. Johnny Scopes was just another high school teacher until Mr. Robinson decided that the town of Dayton, Tennessee needed to be better known across the country. His simple plan to get some publicity for the town turned into one of this country’s greatest debate over evolution vs. creationism and turned one small town upside down. Mr. Robinson’s daughter, Frances, is telling this story and she was infatuated with Johnny Scopes. He considered her a friend throughout the trail and all its escapades. This book is a wonderful way to teach kids how to look at both sides of an argument, and how to evaluate all perspectives of a debate. The author’s notes at the end of this book are also very valuable to show students how true circumstances can be fictionalize to give the story a voice.

  • Kit
    2019-01-31 05:16

    One of the jacket reviews calls this a mashup of Inherit the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird. Kidd was inspired to write the book upon meeting his friend's mother, the real Francine Robinson, who shared her memories of being a child in Dayton, Tennessee during the Scopes trial. Kidd changes narrative details (some characters are made up; the real Francine was only eight years old at the time of the Scopes trial, not fifteen as in the story), but includes extensive information about the trial, including quotes from courtroom testimony and H.L. Menken's newspaper articles.The overarching story isn't about creationism versus evolution, but about Frances' sometimes difficult negotiation between the small town she loves and the new ideas that intrigue her. Although I thought Frances' insights sometimes seemed a little too pat, Kidd did a great job of making Frances' father, her chief antagonist, a well-rounded character. I also loved his version of the cigar-smoking Menken.

  • Salsabrarian
    2019-02-18 08:13

    Narrated by Ashley Albert A fictionalized account of the Scopes trial's impact on a 15-year-old girl, as inspired by stories heard from a friend's mother. Frances' father owns the town drugstore in Dayton, TN. He's up for any idea that will promote Dayton throughout the country so when the opportunity arises to put the teaching of evolution on trial, he and other community boosters jump on the chance. John T. Scopes, Frances' teacher and her crush, consents to being the fall guy and wheels are in motion. As the trial begins, Dayton has a crush of visiting media, curious onlookers and the lawyers William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow. The attention has put Dayton on the map but in a negative light thanks to columnist H.L. Mencken whose coverage puts down the local residents as a bunch of yokels. Through it all, Frances roots for Johnny, questions her own beliefs about religion and evolution and sees her father and his publicity machinations in a new light.

  • Erica
    2019-02-10 10:17

    The premise of the book alone will make you want to read it. It is all about a famous trial that takes place in a small town in Tennessee in 1925. It recently won a Sequoyah award, and rightfully so! The trial is all about the teaching of evolution vs. the teaching of creation in public schools. It is a fantastic account of the connotations of the separation between church and state. The town puts a local teacher on the stand, but we come to find out they have a secret agenda as well. An extraordinary book that asks deep questions, like my favorite line, "What makes you think that smart people don't have doubts?" I would use this in the classroom as a great example of people questioning themselves in order to come to their own truth.

  • Natasha
    2019-02-14 07:23

    I heard someone describe this as To Kill A Mockingbird, Jr. While that struck me as blasphemy, that doesn't change the fact that Ronald Miller has written a super book. In addition to the delight I took Kidd's premise (the Scopes Trial was really a publicity stunt?), I came to wallow in Frances' existential crises with such pleasure that I tried to forestall finishing the thing by turning the pages slower. (A trick my dear friend Sally taught me.)Anyway, I went into such withdrawal the morning after I'd finished this, I went to the Strand and hunted down a book by H.L. Mencken (who figures prominently in the story). His delicious quotes are sprinkled throughout the book.As if the whole Mockingbird, Jr. thing wasn't inducement enough...you get Mencken! Brilliant.

  • OK Dad
    2019-02-16 04:06

    Spied this selection in the new YA section of our local small town library. Having just visited Monroeville with my family on our spring break road trip through Alabama, visions of famous courthouses danced in my head.Note - Monroeville is the hometown of "To Kill and Mockingbird" novelist, Harper Lee, and the courthouse in the town plaza is an exacting replica (actually an original) of the one see in the film version of the novel.The novel is sweet and syrupy in all the right places, managing to capture a bit of childhood whimsy in it's fictional/non-fictional account of the circus surrounding the Scopes Monkey trial.I enjoyed it and it will go on the list of books I'd recommend to my daughters.

  • Karen Ball
    2019-01-24 06:08

    It's 1925 and Frances, 15, has a crush on the new teacher, John Scopes. Her father, the school board chairman and local drugstore owner, has a plan to use the brewing controversy over the teaching of the theory of evolution to bring publicity to their town: Dayton, Tennessee. He has John Scopes arrested, and the resulting trial brings the most famous thinkers of the time to Dayton. Frances has to reconsider most of her beliefs and values: religion, friendship, family, and how to find the truth. The author's note at the end about interviewing the real Frances and researching the events of the trial is fascinating!

  • Shaya
    2019-02-07 09:05

    Well done historical fiction book. I learned things about the Scopes trial I didn't know, having only read an excerpt from Gone with the Wind. It effectively covers the tiral and France's coming of age. I liked that the main characters were well drawn out. From the author's note, it seems to be very accurate which I appreciate. The front cover has a quote that it's similar to To Kill a Mockingbird and I would have to agree it has a lot of the same qualities: young girl figuring out the world, father plays a major role, a trial, set in a small town in the South, etc. I'd definitely recommend this to historical fans.

  • Beth
    2019-01-29 11:20

    Good historical fiction that brings to life the Scopes "Monkey" Trial about the legality of teaching evolution in schools . It's well based on historical research and the memories of some of the not so famous townspeople who were part of one of the most famous trials in US History. The Scopes "Monkey" Trial pitted Clarence Darrow, famous trial lawyer, against William Jennings Bryan, famous religious leader and lawyer. The book is told from the point of view of a 15 year old girl who found herself right in the middle of everything. It's an enjoyable way to learn some history, and it makes you think while you're having fun.

  • Heidi-Marie
    2019-02-08 07:04

    This was interesting, entertaining, and informative. I didn't know much about the Scopes trial other than that it happened. So this was an enjoyable way to learn a bit more without reading anything dry or boring (especially while baking and cleaning the apartment!). I really liked how Frances learns to question, open her mind, and try to figure out her own personal views on things. The part with her father was one of the most interesting for me. Not sure why, but I loved how it resolved for both.The narrator overall was fine, but a couple of times (like with Mr. Scopes' "accent") that I was annoyed.

  • Courtney
    2019-02-15 04:04

    It's the summer of 1925 in Dayton, TN, and Johnny Scopes broke the law: he taught evolution. This novel takes the real event, and delivers it through the eyes of Frances Robinson, a fifteen-year-old native of the sleepy, little town. As the trial heats up, Frances watches Johnny's spirit diminish, and the townspeople go from neighborly to violent - all in the name of God. As she comes to terms with her own beliefs, she realizes that a line has been drawn, and the consequences may be more than anyone bargained for.

  • Katy
    2019-02-20 03:54

    While this book doesn't even compare to Inherit the Wind, it does offer a fresh perspective of how the townspeople of Dayton, TN, reacted to the infamous Scopes Trial in 1925. It is historical fiction, based upon interviews Kidd had with a daughter of the one of the men who was instrumental in creating the trial for publicity. It shows the changes that occurred---Frances with her family, the reactions to the trial by both the townspeople and the "outside" world, and to the life of Johnny Scopes. The author created a believable story.

  • Merry
    2019-02-02 10:14

    I generally love historical fiction because it makes me FEEL history. This book was no exception -- I felt the injustice of Johnny Scopes being innocently drawn into a trial that was supposed to be no big deal. The story, however, is told through the eyes of fifteen-year-old Frances Robinson, a girl with a crush on teacher, Johnny Scopes. Not only do you live the fascinating details of the famous Scopes "Monkey" Trial, you watch the evolution of Frances, herself, as the trial unfolds. Beautifully done!

  • Tina
    2019-01-31 09:54

    This is a Historical Fiction book - the story is actually written about the Scopes Trial.It is 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee, and the townspeople come up with an idea to "put their town on the map". They decide to put their coach/biology teacher on trial for teaching Evolution. John Scopes agrees to stand trial, but things don't go quite the way the town planned them. Frances is only 15, but realizes quickly that some people are telling the truth. The trial changes the town and its people forever.

  • Rekha
    2019-02-15 10:03

    This is the fictionalization of the Scopes "Monkey Trial" that occurred in the 1920s. Teenager Frances is the daughter of the town drugstore owner, who stirs up the controversy over John Scopes' teaching of evolution in a local school just to generate publicity and noteriety for the town in Tennessee. Frances tells the story of Clarence Darrow coming to defend Mr. Scopes (on whom she has a little crush), and William Jennings Bryan coming to town to prosecute. She also runs into H.L. Mencken who is one of the many journalists who have come to town to cover the trial. A well-told story.

  • Robin
    2019-02-08 06:56

    Parts of this read like an old school "first romance" novel. The fun, however, is watching Frances' thoughts shift from her dreamy teacher to the nature of truth, justice (and the American way). I'm pretty psyched to see this one through."Maybe all of them were right, and all of them were wrong. Maybe each was a little bit right. Maybe I could look at the world and decide for myself. It didn't have to be right for Daddy or Johnny or Eloise Purser or Clarence Darrow, only for me."

  • Ashley
    2019-01-23 08:07

    This was an interesting way to learn more about the Scopes Trial and how it was the brainchild of local businessmen who wanted to put their town on the map. The narrator, however, was too ingenuous for me. Frances seemed like a very, very young fifteen; I wish Kidd had given her voice to a twelve-year-old instead. In fact, the freedom of movement Frances enjoys seems more appropriate for a kid than a young woman of the period.Recommended on audio.

  • Brian Wilson
    2019-01-21 03:55

    I listened to this on the way to Charlotte for the Christopher Moore book signing of "You Suck". The book is billed as being a cross between "Inherit the Wind" and "To Kill a Mockingbird". While I wouldn't quite put it in the same territory as those books, I did enjoy it. It is a story a lot of people know about, but might possibly think of differently when hearing it re-told from this, more personal, level. A good story, well written, but not a blockbuster.

  • Mr. Steve
    2019-01-21 05:59

    One of my favorite historical fiction titles...sweet and understated story of 15-year-old Frances who unwittingly is caught in the middle of one of the biggest U.S. trials of the 20th Century when her father hatches a plan to arrest her science teacher Johnny Scopes for teaching evolution. Based on the actual 1925 Scopes Trial. Get past the boring cover and historical fiction fans will not be disappointed.

  • Zahreen
    2019-01-21 05:09

    It's an interesting premise for a historical fiction novel (the Scopes trial), but I thought it went a little slowly at times, which means that it's not a novel I would necessarily want my students to read (who have very little patience for slow moving plots). I thought it was accessible for students who wanted to learn more about the controversy surrounding evolution - and I would definitely recommend this book to my higher level students.

  • Megan
    2019-01-29 11:23

    While it was a story that I think should be told, and a fascinating subject, the pervasive 15 year-old with a desperate crush/love for her teacher felt really icky. The rest was good, but I won't stock it in the classroom because encouraging that kind of relationship (although totally innocent on the teacher's part) feels inappropriate for me. Listened to the audiobook.