A Junior Library League Selection

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The Long Ride, a novel by Marina Budhos

It’s 1971.  A time of bell-bottoms and cool boots.  And a time of big change.

As mixed-race girls, Jamila, Josie, and Francesca have always felt like outsiders in their mostly white neighborhood in Queens, New York City.  At least they have each other.  Now it’s seventh grade, and they’re part of an important experiment: kids will go on a long bus ride to integrate a new school in a black neighborhood.  Maybe there the three girls can finally fit in.

Until Francesca’s parents put her in private school.  And Jamila and Josie discover that they’re not even in the same classes.

How do they find their place in a school divided between black and white? And what about the boys wanting to be friends–and maybe more? Can kids come together when grown-ups stay apart?

In this tender story of friendship and family love, award-winning author Marina Budhos captures what it’s like to tip from twelve to thirteen, and try to carry the dreams of adults.

 “She portrays with nuance the ways multiracial identities, socio-economic status, microaggressions, and interracial relationships can impact and shape identity.Readers will find a powerful window into the past and, unfortunately, a way-too-accurate mirror of the present. “–Kirkus Reviews, starred

“There’s an authenticity here that is unique and powerful. and it keeps you reading. Feels like reality television and you want to know what’s going to happen next. This one could be a One Book One School option.”–A Book & A Hug blog

“The Long Ride is both beautiful and brave, grappling with urgent matters of racism and belonging while telling a universal story of friendship and hope. This book will inspire crucial debates about how to create a truly diverse world for all our children.”–Ruth Behar, author of Lucky Broken Girl

 “In this bold narrative, Marina Budhos provides a fresh look at the challenges and rewards of integration.”–Sharon Dennis Wyeth, author of The World of Daughter McGuireSomething Beautiful and other books

 Readers will identify with twelve-year-old Jamila’s struggle to find her place in her school, her community, and the world.”–Kristin Levine author of The Lions of Little Rock and The Jigsaw Jungle

“A lyrical meditation on growing up in New York City, a story about what it means to live as a mixed-race person, but most of all: a deeply moving story of friendship—girls and boys. This beautifully written book will keep you reading to the end.” –Heather Bouwman, author of A Crack in the Sea and A Tear in the Ocean.

Read an interview with Marina in Kirkus Reviews.

Pre-order your copy of The Long Ride on: