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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
When peace-loving, long-haired hippies showed up in New Hope, Florida, people who lived in the small community had a variety of reactions. Some began to question their own beliefs about the Vietnam War, while others were adamantly opposed to the protesters. Margaret “Pidge” Reed is an inquisitive twelve-year-old girl, and her family owns the Daylight Grocery. The large cast of characters is often introduced when they come to the store to buy food and gas for their vehicles. Her parents, brother, and sister also have pivotal roles in the storyline. Author Sue Riddle Cronkite has written a compelling historical fiction novel in White Sheets: Where the Hippies Meet the Klan.
There are several fascinating aspects to the book. The depiction of this town in the Wiregrass territory of Northwest Florida is interesting. The points-of-view regarding the war and its protesters could have been found in many small American towns during this era, yet there are distinct regional characteristics. The support given by the Reed family and some of their neighbors is a pleasant aspect of this tale. The inflammatory words and actions by others, including members of the Ku Klux Klan, are painful reminders of this turbulent era. The author crafted a good balance between these two factions, and some humorous moments also add to the balance. White Sheets: Where the Hippies Meet the Klan by Sue Riddle Cronkite is a thought-provoking, informative read. Anyone who would like to learn more about this era would greatly enjoy this book and certainly want to read other books in the Wiregrass Series.