Growing Up White by Dwight Ritter

Growin' Up White

I recently read this for one of the book groups I am in.  The author grew up in Indianapolis and discussed this book last fall at the library where I work in Carmel.  He is a white man who grew up in a black neighborhood in Indianapolis during the fifties, and this book was the result of his experiences growing up during a racially charged time.  The book is told through Ricky Stoner’s eyes as he grows up.  His dad is a doctor who treats many in the black community and his mom is a prodigy classical pianist. When his dad brings Georgey in to help take care of the family, she becomes part of their family. Ricky also becomes attached to her black community, Frog Island, making many friends and becoming best friends with another boy there.  The characters are extremely well-developed, and through his writing I felt like I was right there alongside them throughout the book.  I also enjoyed learning some of the history of the area I now live in. The topic of race relations is timely, and unfortunately there are still many of those tensions today.  It’s a terrific story and is told in a fair, non-preachy manner.  At the end of the book I couldn’t believe how attached I had become to the characters and story.



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