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In the segregated southern United States, Michael and his grandmother walk in the scorching heat to the bus stop. They sit down on an empty bench. When a white woman and her son arrive moments later, Michael and his grandmother stand up and allow them to use the bench.

In town, Michael runs to a water fountain marked “COLORED” and gulps down the rusty-tasting water. The other boy drinks at the fountain marked “WHITE.” Michael is convinced that the “white” water is far better than the water he drank. Later, in a shocking epiphany, he learns that one pipe feeds both fountains.

Based on author Michael Bandy’s life, White Water vividly and age-sensitively shows the detrimental effects of racism as well as a paradigm shift that freed one child from its lies. (Candlewick Press)

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