Review- They Call Themselves the K.K.K: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. 2010. They Call Themselves the K.K.K: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group . Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780618440337
B. Plot Summary
“Klansmen were sworn to kill informers, even fellow members, who divulged information about the order, its rituals, or its members.” The Ku Klux Klan is a highly secretive terrorist group who conducted brutal raids upon black Americans. Their club began in the aftermath of the Civil War and grew into a decidedly organized, destructive organization that is still found today. Bartoletti opens readers’ minds to the story of the K.K.K. and the turmoil they caused.
C. Critical Analysis
Using excerpts from slave narratives, archival illustrations, and documented accounts from the time, Susan Campbell Bartoletti gives a flowing, factual look at the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Bartoletti is a noted author of informational text with a record of accurate, truthful writing. They Were Known as the K.K.K. is a clearly written text that targets teen readers. There is a wealth of illustrations to make it engaging and enough visual and verbal access features to make it great for research work.
D. Review Excerpts
· Starred review from Booklist: “…thoroughly researched volume.”
· Kirkus Best Books for Teens 2010
· Junior Library Guild selection
· From School Library Journal: “…well-structured inside look at the K.K.K…”
E. Connections and Classroom Activities
· After reading aloud, with or without audiobook, this text would lend itself well to a discussion group format. The facilitator could pose questions about the students own background knowledge of racism, feelings and emotions, and connections to other texts. At the end of the discussion, the students could create a mock interview of a former slave and their personal account of the K.K.K.