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Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch

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This heartfelt picture book biography illustrated by the Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes, tells the story of MaVynee Betsch, an African American opera singer turned environmentalist and the legacy she preserved. MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn't just go to any beach--most of the beaches in Jacksonsville were for whites only. Knowing s This heartfelt picture book biography illustrated by the Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes, tells the story of MaVynee Betsch, an African American opera singer turned environmentalist and the legacy she preserved. MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn't just go to any beach--most of the beaches in Jacksonsville were for whites only. Knowing something must be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without being reminded they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach. Artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles vacationed on its sunny shores. It's here that MaVynee was first inspired to sing, propelling her to later become a widely acclaimed opera singer who routinely performed on an international stage. But her first love would always be American Beach. After the Civil Rights Act desegregated public places, there was no longer a need for a place like American Beach and it slowly fell into disrepair. MaVynee remembered the importance of American Beach to her family and so many others, so determined to preserve this integral piece of American history, she began her second act as an activist and conservationist, ultimately saving the place that had always felt most like home.


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This heartfelt picture book biography illustrated by the Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes, tells the story of MaVynee Betsch, an African American opera singer turned environmentalist and the legacy she preserved. MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn't just go to any beach--most of the beaches in Jacksonsville were for whites only. Knowing s This heartfelt picture book biography illustrated by the Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes, tells the story of MaVynee Betsch, an African American opera singer turned environmentalist and the legacy she preserved. MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn't just go to any beach--most of the beaches in Jacksonsville were for whites only. Knowing something must be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without being reminded they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach. Artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles vacationed on its sunny shores. It's here that MaVynee was first inspired to sing, propelling her to later become a widely acclaimed opera singer who routinely performed on an international stage. But her first love would always be American Beach. After the Civil Rights Act desegregated public places, there was no longer a need for a place like American Beach and it slowly fell into disrepair. MaVynee remembered the importance of American Beach to her family and so many others, so determined to preserve this integral piece of American history, she began her second act as an activist and conservationist, ultimately saving the place that had always felt most like home.

30 review for Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    You have to be kidding me: an orange rope in the ocean that divide WHITE/COLORED sections! The story of MaVynee Betsch needs to be told to a much wider audience. Acclaimed opera singer, Civil Rights Activist and environmentalist - MaVynee Betsch fought on so many fronts of inequality. Beautiful art makes this a book that belongs on any child's shelf - highest recommendation. The author reads /Saving American Beach - Read Aloud With Author Heidi Tyline King | Brightly Storytime Together/ on YouTu You have to be kidding me: an orange rope in the ocean that divide WHITE/COLORED sections! The story of MaVynee Betsch needs to be told to a much wider audience. Acclaimed opera singer, Civil Rights Activist and environmentalist - MaVynee Betsch fought on so many fronts of inequality. Beautiful art makes this a book that belongs on any child's shelf - highest recommendation. The author reads /Saving American Beach - Read Aloud With Author Heidi Tyline King | Brightly Storytime Together/ on YouTube.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    Fail! I knew that my “year of no picture books” would fail since Patricia Polacco has a new picture book coming out this October, but I was hoping that would be my only lapse. I found out about this book just today from an email and it was so appealing to me that I checked to see if I could borrow a library e-copy and I was able to get a Kindle edition. 4-1/2 stars – a half star off because I was a bit discomfited by the end and parts toward the end, though the note at the end helped me feel bett Fail! I knew that my “year of no picture books” would fail since Patricia Polacco has a new picture book coming out this October, but I was hoping that would be my only lapse. I found out about this book just today from an email and it was so appealing to me that I checked to see if I could borrow a library e-copy and I was able to get a Kindle edition. 4-1/2 stars – a half star off because I was a bit discomfited by the end and parts toward the end, though the note at the end helped me feel better. In the book proper it seemed sort of sad and not quite pointless but I sort of wondered what we were celebrating. I found the story inspirational and interesting. The language is lyrical and beautiful. I adored the art. I loved it so much that I’d be happy to have it up on my walls. I couldn’t rate the art more highly. Wonderful colors and details and fun to peruse. I never knew about this woman or this beach and I’m glad to have learned of it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Teut

    As I was drawn into the story I was both inspired and amazed, and left wondering, "How have I not heard this story before? How many more stories like this are out there? Who will tell them?" As I was drawn into the story I was both inspired and amazed, and left wondering, "How have I not heard this story before? How many more stories like this are out there? Who will tell them?"

  4. 4 out of 5

    Candy Garner

    Teachers...grab your copy today! As an educator who works with students of all ages, my mind raced with the many activities which could be presented to students as I read this inspiring story and the topics addressed on these pages. From equity for all, to protecting our beautiful earth, the learning possibilities are endless. Both words and illustrations are inspiring, leaving the reader with a desire to make the world a better place.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch is a children's picture book written by Heidi Tyline King and illustrated by Ekua Holmes. It centers on an unsung American hero who used her voice to preserve the natural spaces she loved. MaVynee Betsch was an American environmentalist and an activist. She was better known as The Beach Lady, because she spent the better part of her adult life educating the public on the black history and environmental import Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch is a children's picture book written by Heidi Tyline King and illustrated by Ekua Holmes. It centers on an unsung American hero who used her voice to preserve the natural spaces she loved. MaVynee Betsch was an American environmentalist and an activist. She was better known as The Beach Lady, because she spent the better part of her adult life educating the public on the black history and environmental importance of American Beach. King's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informative. King crafts musical prose, skillfully connecting Betsch's musical career with her love of the beach. Backmatter includes an author's and illustrator's notes. Caldecott Honoree Holmes' art, rendered in acrylic and collage, incorporates patterns created from handmade stencils and stamps, resulting in richly multilayered illustrations. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. It profiles MaVynee Betsch, a Black opera singer who devoted herself to maintaining American Beach, which her great-grandfather bought during the Jim Crow era to make it open to everyone. When her mother falls ill, Betsch returns to Florida and, remembering the deteriorated beach’s better days, sets out to protect it, protesting the construction of condos by living there, writing letters to lawmakers, and petitioning the president. All in all, Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist Mavynee Betsch is a spectacular story about a little-known eco-warrior whose story should be told and retold.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Adams

    Fabulous picture book bio of someone that I had never heard of before, but now I'm glad I have. Loved the art (enough that I'm looking up the illustrator's other works) and we learn from a note at the end that a lot of the choices were made very deliberately and thoughtfully. This would be a great read when talking about important women, important Black Americans, or even just environmentalism. The text was well-edited and concise instead of being chunks of text on each page - this makes it so m Fabulous picture book bio of someone that I had never heard of before, but now I'm glad I have. Loved the art (enough that I'm looking up the illustrator's other works) and we learn from a note at the end that a lot of the choices were made very deliberately and thoughtfully. This would be a great read when talking about important women, important Black Americans, or even just environmentalism. The text was well-edited and concise instead of being chunks of text on each page - this makes it so much more accessible to a range of ages. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I love when picture books teach me something about history that I had no clue about. This book made me want to visit American Beach in Florida, which is now part of the National Park Service for being a beach that Black Americans could visit during the Jim Crow era.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    Ekua Holmes is the creator of the stunning, lush illustrations in this lyrical, melodically written picture book biography of an opera-singing African American environmentalist and activist who saved American Beach in Florida, established during the Jim Crow era as a place free of segregation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Roben

    American Beach is a beach on the Atlantic coast of northern Florida - just above Jacksonville. I have driven along the Florida coast through Jacksonville many times, but I have never heard of American Beach. Or MaVynee Betsch. So I am happy that the author wrote this book so I could meet this remarkable woman and learn about the beach. Her great-grandfather. Abraham Lincoln Lewis, purchased the beach in the 1930s so African Americans could, as he stated, enjoy “recreation and relaxation without American Beach is a beach on the Atlantic coast of northern Florida - just above Jacksonville. I have driven along the Florida coast through Jacksonville many times, but I have never heard of American Beach. Or MaVynee Betsch. So I am happy that the author wrote this book so I could meet this remarkable woman and learn about the beach. Her great-grandfather. Abraham Lincoln Lewis, purchased the beach in the 1930s so African Americans could, as he stated, enjoy “recreation and relaxation without humiliation.” They would not have to worry about using a beach that was segregated - with an orange rope dividing where black and white people could swim. MaVynee grew up to become a famous singer but when her mother became ill she returned home to Florida. MaVynee became very sad. Maybe because her mother had died or because her beach was being taken over by developers. And so she spent the rest of her life - and her money - on environmental issues and trying to preserve American Beach. She also let her hair grow until it was seven feet long! Her efforts to preserve the history of American Beach succeeded and in 2001, it was listed as an historic site on the National Register of Historic Places. And later, an area of sand dunes along American Beach was purchased by the National Park Service. Be sure to read the author's note - and challenge. And read about Ekua Holmes' illustrations and the reason she uses orange butterflies in the illustrations. I think it will all make you want to learn more about American Beach - and MaVynee Betsch.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sunny

    Beautifully illustrated and inspiring. This book will send you down a magnificent rabbit hole. I loved it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    A gem! This is the story of how a talented, unique, and determined lady spearheaded a movement to save a very special beach. We need more biographies of African-American defenders of the environment. This one is perfect for a tie-in with Black History, Earth Day, or just because.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    A gorgeous book about activism, civil rights, and the environment.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ms Threlkeld

    Fascinating! I had never heard of Betsch or American Beach and I am so glad I now know about them.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dana Sweeney

    This remarkable and beautifully illustrated children’s book tells the history of American Beach on Amelia Island in northeast Florida; the story is told through the eyes of MaVynee Betsch, granddaughter of the man who created the beach (A.L. Lewis). From 1935 forward, American Beach was one of the few Black beaches available in the segregated South, and Betsch grew up experiencing it as the center of a vibrant coastal community that attracted such Black luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston, Ray Char This remarkable and beautifully illustrated children’s book tells the history of American Beach on Amelia Island in northeast Florida; the story is told through the eyes of MaVynee Betsch, granddaughter of the man who created the beach (A.L. Lewis). From 1935 forward, American Beach was one of the few Black beaches available in the segregated South, and Betsch grew up experiencing it as the center of a vibrant coastal community that attracted such Black luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston, Ray Charles, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, and more. But after integration, the American Beach community began to dissipate as Black families started traveling to newly accessible beaches closer to home. As crowds of Black vacationers dwindled, as trash and pollution started dirtying the beach, and as condo developers began to swoop in like vultures, it seemed like the historic Black haven of American Beach might be swept away and forgotten. But it wouldn’t be so: enter our now-grown-up title hero, MaVynee Betsch, who returns to save the beach! The book delivers an excellent opportunity to start having early, approachable conversations about racism, Jim Crow, and environmental justice with young children. And better still, it introduces readers to multiple Black heroes (namely MaVynee Betsch and her grandfather A.L. Lewis) who respond to adversity with courage, creativity, determination, and a vision of justice. The book also presents a really clear arc of 1) someone discovers a problem, 2) someone develops a solution, 3) someone invites other people to join them in solving the problem, and 4) people fight to do the right thing for a long time — for as long as it takes. MaVynee Betsch cared for and was a pillar of the American Beach community for decades and kept its history alive before she passed in 2005. She petitioned for the beach to be granted status as a historic site for decades, and she was ultimately successful. American Beach was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 and granted preservation status. This is a great children’s book that taught me (an adult) a lot, too. It is poignant, beautiful, thrilling, and instructive. Would highly recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ms. B

    Interesting story about an African American woman Mavynee Betsch who was a successful opera singer. When her mother becomes sick, she returns to her childhood home and spends the rest of her life as an activist and environmentalist (view spoiler)[and it appears in solitude (hide spoiler)] , but is anyone listening? Interesting story about an African American woman Mavynee Betsch who was a successful opera singer. When her mother becomes sick, she returns to her childhood home and spends the rest of her life as an activist and environmentalist (view spoiler)[and it appears in solitude (hide spoiler)] , but is anyone listening?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aolund

    A moving and informative biography of Black opera singer and environmentalist MaVynee Betsch. Ekua Holmes' illustrations are incredible as always. White author, Black illustrator. A moving and informative biography of Black opera singer and environmentalist MaVynee Betsch. Ekua Holmes' illustrations are incredible as always. White author, Black illustrator.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Beautiful illustrations and an inspiring tale of activism. A must read. The whole family enjoyed the history and environmentalism in this picture book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rebekkah

    Such an important topic and the illustrations were gorgeous—I just wish the writing had been better.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    A beautiful and fascinating picture book biography of opera singer/environmentalist Mavynee Betsch. We stayed on Amelia Island this past spring and a park ranger told us the story of American Beach and the "beach lady" who saved it. We were fascinated and went to visit the beach. It is such a historically rich and interesting story but one that seems largely unnoticed. There is a historical marker and a sign on the main road but very little else seems to be there. I can't help but feel the island A beautiful and fascinating picture book biography of opera singer/environmentalist Mavynee Betsch. We stayed on Amelia Island this past spring and a park ranger told us the story of American Beach and the "beach lady" who saved it. We were fascinated and went to visit the beach. It is such a historically rich and interesting story but one that seems largely unnoticed. There is a historical marker and a sign on the main road but very little else seems to be there. I can't help but feel the island is missing a chance to educate visitors and celebrate this amazing period and equally amazing and determined woman. I am delighted to have read this really gorgeous book with illustrations by Ekua Holmes. An Author and Illustrator's notes appear in the back matter and a few brief sources.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Absolutely stunning illustrations, created with acrylics and collage using patterns fashioned from stencils and stamps that were handmade, fill the pages of this picture book and show the beauty of the ocean and beach near Jacksonville, Florida. I had never heard of MaVynee Betsch and her fight to save American Beach before reading this engaging picture book. She grew up during the period in history where beaches were segregated. Her great-grandfather bought a beach where anyone could go. It bec Absolutely stunning illustrations, created with acrylics and collage using patterns fashioned from stencils and stamps that were handmade, fill the pages of this picture book and show the beauty of the ocean and beach near Jacksonville, Florida. I had never heard of MaVynee Betsch and her fight to save American Beach before reading this engaging picture book. She grew up during the period in history where beaches were segregated. Her great-grandfather bought a beach where anyone could go. It became a playground for the young girl who danced and sang on the shore. Later, when she became an adult MaVynee became an opera singer, touring around the world. She came back home to take care of her mother and realized that the beach she loved so much was in disarray, filled with trash. She began cleaning up the area and spending much of her time among its dunes. When developers eyed the area as a site for condominiums, MaVynee became an activist for saving the site, not just for its natural beauty but its historical value. She grew her hair long and began writing letters to government officials about saving the place. Eventually, American Beach was placed under the administration of the National Park Service as well as being named to the National Register of Historic Places and part of the Florida Black Heritage Trail. What an amazing, brave woman MaVynee was! Readers won't want to miss the backmatter with additional information about her and her environmentalism and how she expressed herself in many creative ways including her clothing, hair, fingernails, and jewelry. As the note from the author makes clear, she channeled her sadness and used her resources for good and for change instead of allowing those negative feelings to overwhelm and destroy her. This is an excellent addition to a collection of biographies or activists or even as an example of how one person can make a difference in the world around him/her/them.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carol V

    Eye opening biography that our youth can really begin to understand the movement to free Blacks in America. As a child, MaVynee had to swim on the other side of the rope. She grew to a life of success as an opera singer but family matters brought her back to the beach she so loved as a child. This story is so beautifully written. It is the perfect lead-in book to a study of Black Lives Matters at any grade, ages 9 - up to 109! I am so hopeful the book wins many awards so it will reach many reade Eye opening biography that our youth can really begin to understand the movement to free Blacks in America. As a child, MaVynee had to swim on the other side of the rope. She grew to a life of success as an opera singer but family matters brought her back to the beach she so loved as a child. This story is so beautifully written. It is the perfect lead-in book to a study of Black Lives Matters at any grade, ages 9 - up to 109! I am so hopeful the book wins many awards so it will reach many readers. The illustrations are colorful, acrylic and collage. The bright colors are filled with symbolism: Honor nature and protect our environment, bring your pastel dreams to life / reality, and see the world as a colorful happy place. Worthy of Caldecott award.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    A lovely children's book -- the story, the illustrations, the theme. Mavynee Betsch is one of those unsung heroes we never learn about in school. She was a successful opera singer who returns home to find the beach of her childhood (American Beach) covered in litter and encroached upon by development. The story is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Heartbreaking that we seem to care so little for our natural environment -- uplifting in that one (1) person can make a difference. Mavynee Betsch did A lovely children's book -- the story, the illustrations, the theme. Mavynee Betsch is one of those unsung heroes we never learn about in school. She was a successful opera singer who returns home to find the beach of her childhood (American Beach) covered in litter and encroached upon by development. The story is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Heartbreaking that we seem to care so little for our natural environment -- uplifting in that one (1) person can make a difference. Mavynee Betsch didn't save all of her beach, but she was successful in saving the tallest sand dune in Florida. The illustrations are a feast for the eyes -- multi-layered collage illustrations enhanced with acrylics. There are shells, trash, and musical notes skipping across the sand, but also a nod to Michelle Obama and some jazz music greats. Inspirational, informative for everyone! Enjoy!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Otis Weah

    MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn't just go to any beach--most of the beaches in Jacksonville were for whites only. Knowing something must be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without being reminded they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach. Artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles vacationed on its sunny shores. It's here that MaVynee was first inspired to sing, propelling her to late MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn't just go to any beach--most of the beaches in Jacksonville were for whites only. Knowing something must be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without being reminded they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach. Artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles vacationed on its sunny shores. It's here that MaVynee was first inspired to sing, propelling her to later become a widely acclaimed opera singer who routinely performed on an international stage. But her first love would always be American Beach.

  24. 5 out of 5

    V Dixon

    I love this book because it is timely with the Black family being rewarded the California beach that was taken from their ancestors in 1924. With this book, people of all ages can remember there is so much history that we still are learning. It is also a good book to have for Earth Day and other Environmental centric occasions. And for the upcoming and rising activist this book will add fuel to their desires to do good for the right reasons.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Gorgeous collage art and interesting piece of history. Bits seem to be missing though—if her grandfather bought the land, what happened to the ownership that developers could build on it? I always like a timeline and unfortunately this book lacks that.

  26. 5 out of 5

    C.

    Often children's books draw me in because of their short, powerful, and engaging writing. This book is all three and more. The vivid descriptions and the warmth of the story's presentation are enchanting. Although this book covers sad subjects, the segregation of beaches, and her mother's brief illness and death, this lovely book also holds sweet messages of love, hope, and resilience. The love and pride for the grandpa who bought the beach, how they cared for the beach and the beach goers is he Often children's books draw me in because of their short, powerful, and engaging writing. This book is all three and more. The vivid descriptions and the warmth of the story's presentation are enchanting. Although this book covers sad subjects, the segregation of beaches, and her mother's brief illness and death, this lovely book also holds sweet messages of love, hope, and resilience. The love and pride for the grandpa who bought the beach, how they cared for the beach and the beach goers is heartwarming, and I am still smiling. The story is about 10 minutes long. I listened to the audiobook, but I think the pictures will give the readers time to think, reflect, and discuss with children about being different, unique, strong, and memorable. A great book that I feel young and older readers will enjoy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carmela Simmons

    Author Heidi Tyline King and illustrator Ekua Holmes share a little known story of African American environmentalist MaVynee Betsch who singlehandedly worked to preserve a beach which her grandfather had purchased years before so that Blacks could enjoy it during the times of segregation and Jim Crow. In exquisite lyrical language matched by glorious artwork, the author and illustrator bring MaVynee's unique passion for music, her unique lifestyle, and determination to save her beach to life. I Author Heidi Tyline King and illustrator Ekua Holmes share a little known story of African American environmentalist MaVynee Betsch who singlehandedly worked to preserve a beach which her grandfather had purchased years before so that Blacks could enjoy it during the times of segregation and Jim Crow. In exquisite lyrical language matched by glorious artwork, the author and illustrator bring MaVynee's unique passion for music, her unique lifestyle, and determination to save her beach to life. I find myself revisiting the pages just to savor the poetry of the words and notice the many details in the fabulous images. Parents will enjoy reading this as much as the children who hear it. I predict more than one shiny medal will soon grace the cover of this picture book biography.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    In response to the Jim Crow laws, Mavynee Betsch's great grandfather bought a beach, known as American Beach, so African American families would have a place to enjoy without the burden of segregation. When Mavynee returns home to take care of her ailing mother after enjoying a successful career, she discovers that the beach has been neglected. This is a picture book biography about Mavynee Betsch and her work to clean up American Beach and get legislation passed to protect it forever. An inspir In response to the Jim Crow laws, Mavynee Betsch's great grandfather bought a beach, known as American Beach, so African American families would have a place to enjoy without the burden of segregation. When Mavynee returns home to take care of her ailing mother after enjoying a successful career, she discovers that the beach has been neglected. This is a picture book biography about Mavynee Betsch and her work to clean up American Beach and get legislation passed to protect it forever. An inspiring story about a little known environmental activist with gorgeous artwork -- acrylics and collage illustrations with patterns made using handmade stencils and stamps. Also, don't miss the author and illustrator notes at the back.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura Giessler

    I had never heard of MaVynee Betsch or American Beach before reading this book, but the narrative is compelling and the artwork colorful. She was such an accomplished singer that I was sad to read of how she stepped away from her music. But she found another cause to dedicate her life to: American Beach in Florida that she fought so hard to preserve is now part of the National Park Service for being a beach that Black Americans could visit during the Jim Crow era. I am glad to have learned about I had never heard of MaVynee Betsch or American Beach before reading this book, but the narrative is compelling and the artwork colorful. She was such an accomplished singer that I was sad to read of how she stepped away from her music. But she found another cause to dedicate her life to: American Beach in Florida that she fought so hard to preserve is now part of the National Park Service for being a beach that Black Americans could visit during the Jim Crow era. I am glad to have learned about "Beach Lady". She seemed like an eccentric woman, sleeping on the beach, etc. and her hair (grown for 20 years and seven feet long!) must have been something to behold!

  30. 5 out of 5

    June

    Once again I learned something about which I was totally ignorant. Growing up during segregation Mavynee learns that even the ocean and beaches can be denied her. Then her great-grandfather buys a beach and makes it open to everyone. Mavynee becomes an operatic star singing from London to Berlin. When her mother becomes sick she returns home and when her mother dies Mavynee retreats to the beach. When developers start on American Beach Mavynee becomes a protestor.

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