Indigo and Ida

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Pub Date Apr 04 2023 | Archive Date May 31 2023
Lerner Publishing Group | Carolrhoda Books ®

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When eighth grader and aspiring journalist Indigo breaks an important story, exposing an unfair school policy, she's suddenly popular for the first time.

The friends who've recently drifted away from her want to hang out again. Then Indigo notices that the school's disciplinary policies seem to be enforced especially harshly with students of color, like her. She wants to keep investigating, but her friends insist she's imagining things.

Meanwhile, Indigo stumbles upon a book by Black journalist and activist Ida B. Wells—with private letters written by Ida tucked inside. As she reads about Ida's lifelong battle against racism, Indigo realizes she must choose between keeping quiet and fighting for justice.

When eighth grader and aspiring journalist Indigo breaks an important story, exposing an unfair school policy, she's suddenly popular for the first time.

The friends who've recently drifted away...

Advance Praise

"Engaging, important, and impossible to put down."—Cindy Baldwin, author of Where the Watermelons Grow and The Stars of Whistling Ridge

"Engaging, important, and impossible to put down."—Cindy Baldwin, author of Where the Watermelons Grow and The Stars of Whistling Ridge

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781728467689
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 38 members

Featured Reviews

(Review by middle schooler):

I absolutely loved this book! It's a great book for more advanced elementary school readers, and a good light read for middle school. It's relatable and funny, capturing middle school drama perfectly, while also covering real world topics like racial equity. Through mysterious letters, this amazing book connects historical civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells, and Indigo, an aspiring 8th grade journalist who just wants to make her school fair for everyone.

Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy!

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The way that Heather Murphy Capps weaves together all the story threads in this book to pack a huge punch of an ending in had me staying up way past my bed time to finish. Wonderful theme that would be excellent in any and all classrooms. Definitely get this for any girl leader in your life!

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Oof, this book is a heavy hitter, but also so important and so emotional and so good. It feels similar to We Are the Scribes by Randi Pink in how a young Black girl finds her voice and strength through the stories of Black women who came before them - in this case, Ida B. Wells-Barnett. I also loved the element of letters that were exactly what Indigo needed to hear in order to speak the truth and keep making noise, even as administration and her peers tried to silence her. Uncomfortable topics are just that - uncomfortable - but if we can’t have those conversations then nothing can change. And we need change, as Indigo makes clear with her recognition of the racist application of school policies to disproportionately punish Black and brown students. This story takes place over just a week, and what an intense week it is. I found this to be an unputdownable story and look forward to the stories Heather Murphy Capps will write in the future.

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A powerful and meaningful book that is a MUST read for middle grade readers. This book unflinchingly tackles racism and feminism that will make readers want to take a stand themselves.

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Indigo and Ida is an excellent book about standing up for what matters. Indigo is a budding journalist who uses a school media platform to report on injustices she sees at her school. With the initial success of her reporting, Indigo decides to run for student council so that she can help make real change. But as her reporting becomes more intense, tensions arise between her and her friends and classmates, who think she should lighten up. However, Indigo will not give up. She is inspired by Ida B. Wells, whose letters she has found in the back of a copy of Ida B. Wells' biography. Indigo makes connections between Ida's struggles, the struggles of her fellow marginalized students, and a local incident in which an elderly Black man with dementia was turned away from a hospital, which led to community protests.

Indigo and Ida is a fantastic book that sheds light on racial and social injustices that occur in schools as well as in larger communities, and what people can do to stand up against those injustices. It is well written and fast paced to keep readers engaged and rooting for Indigo. Highly recommended.

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Indigo like to be an investigative reporter for her middle school. She is keenly aware of racism, having seen her mother be able to advocate for her, as a white woman, far more effectively than her father, who is black.

Pursuing a story about how the discipline was lopsided against black, brown and indigenous people, she gets herself thrown into detention so she can check what she has heard herself.

But her white friends just want her to not be so intense, so just go with the flow, and she shouldn’t worry about detention. As long as she is good, it shouldn’t be her concern. They want her to be normal.

While in detention, she finds the autobiography of Ida B Wells. She sees in her stories her stories as well. That they have very similar paths. And so she decides justice is better than being normal, and continues to do her story.

I really like how mysterious letters supposedly written by Ida to someone looking at her book. And of course, having Ida Be Wells is fine to highlight. Hopefully, having bits of her stories will get middle grade readers interested in learning more about her.

Indigo is too intense for her friends, but I loved her as a character, and will miss seeing bits of her life. I highly recommend this book for lovers of a take on historical fiction woven into the present day.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review. Book comes out April 4, 2023. .

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"But I believed then, and still do today, that it is necessary to stand up for what's right rather than what makes you popular." This is one of the many gorgeous, powerful, poignant pieces of advice that our protagonist, Indigo Belle Fitzgerald, serendipitously receives from Ida B. Wells, via the mysterious letters she finds tucked away in one of Ida B. Well's books. In this stunning debut novel, Heather Murphy Capps reminds us to courageously "ring the bell for justice" and to be faithful to our values and beliefs. This book packs a powerful punch in its masterfully written sentences and memorable protagonist, Indigo. This young girl is spunky, smart, and unafraid to shine a light on the truth, no matter how ugly it may be. I fell in love not only with Indigo, but with her brother Elijah, her parents, and so many other characters that stole my heart (despite also breaking it at times). This novel touches on important issues of today in a way that will keep middle-schools engaged and turning the page! They will be rooting for Indigo every step of the way, just like I was. I'll be talking about this book for a long, long time!

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An important, relevant and touching story about confronting racial discrimination and choosing what’s right over what’s popular.
Readers will cheer for Indigo from the very first chapter. She is the epitome of the strong conscious female protagonist that kids should be reading about! The bits of past history of Ida B.Wells are cleverly woven into the story enriching the plot— Indigo finds her own path to justice inspired by Ida’s story.
Although dealing with serious issues, Indigo and Ida is a fun read, layered with depth of the subjects it explores.
Heartwarming family dynamics and fading childhood friendships are authentically portrayed. And aside from the well-developed characters, the beautifully described details in the setting (the sky, the clouds, the snow) are the cherry on top of this five-star read.

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"The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them."

INDIGO AND IDA is a POWERFUL debut and important work, yet completely accessible for middle-grade readers. Indigo Fitzgerald is a middle school journalist who decides to post a blog about the racism she sees happening at her school. Watching Indigo deal with the fallout of turning her light on the truth is both heartbreaking and inspiring and reminds us how much Black children see and process at such a young age, and how brave they can be in fighting against injustice. It also shows, in a very kid-friendly way, how early patriarchy and sexism are shoved onto young girls. It starts at such a young age that a boy speaking his mind is “confident” but too often a girl doing the same will be told she’s harsh, arrogant, aggressive, shouty, etc. Then throw in if she’s a Black girl and the misogynoir is staggering. What Indigo deals with is very much what Black girls are dealing with from day 1. This is why a book like INDIGO AND IDA is so important. It’s s a book that will resonate with a lot of girls and help them feel seen.

Heather Murphy Capps keeps all of this in balance with the turmoil of middle school, changing friendships, and trying to belong, and infuses a serious topic with humor, warmth, and compassion. I’ll be buying many copies of this book for the young readers in my life. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

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This is a wonderful middle grade novel that explores important themes of injustice, inequality, and standing up for what is right. I adored the main character, Indigo, from the very first page when she purposely gets in trouble so she can experience detention. I love how this book weaves in relatable friendship/school situations with more serious issues. My favorite part is Indigo's connection with Black journalist and activist Ida B. Wells, and how she is inspired by her. Ida's personal letters were so interesting and placed so well throughout the story. I believe that Indigo will be a true inspiration for young leaders of today, and I hope INDIGO AND IDA finds its way to young readers everywhere.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read the digital ARC of Indigo and Ida by Heather Murphy Capps.

I would give this book 10 stars if I could! Incredibly relevant and timely, this book tackles social issues head on and had me cheering for Indigo as she stands up to racism and discrimination, and against the unfair bias she is thrown under as a black girl. I could not put this down and I think middle schoolers will be equally engrossed.

Indigo is an amazing protagonist. She's in the 8th grade and has recently been dropped by her closest friends due to a minor incident in which she was deemed embarrassing to be around. Ugh, middle school is the worst. Indigo, who is biracial with a white mom and black dad, starts doing some investigative journalism at her school. The first story she addresses requires that she be sent to detention, as she believes the bathroom policy during detention is unjust (students are not allowed to go even in an emergency). While there, she uncovers a much larger story, in that all of the kids who are at detention and who are sent there regularly, are black/brown students. Even though their white classmates are often doing the same minor infractions - having their phones out, wearing a short skirt (the RAGE I felt at this one), throwing chalk being a few - only the black and brown students are being punished.

Indigo decides to run for President of the student body, and she uses her voice and her video blog to highlight important issues. She is unfairly bullied by the popular crowd, and the rest of the school including her former friends label her as "intense" and #toomad. We see some white girl tears and lots of racist behavior from other students.

The one thing helping Indigo through all of this are a series of letters she finds written from civil rights journalist and activist Ida B. Wells! These letters give Indigo the support that she is lacking from her supposed friends who keep telling her to "chill out" on the important social justice issues she continues to raise.

There is so much more I could get into, but I'll leave the review with two enthusiastic thumbs up and the recommendation that this should be required reading for all middle schoolers. I will for sure be sharing this with my own children.

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"Teachers and parents were always telling girls to be 'fierce' and smart, btu what good was being smart if it made you an outside?"

A beautifully written and powerful middle grade story about a young journalist finding her voice while inspired by Ida B. Wells. Indigo is a brilliant, rule-following girl who gets in trouble in order to investigate unfair bathroom policies in detention. While there, she discovers something even more troubling--the school's disciplinary policies lead to way more students of color getting sent to detention compared to white students who make up the majority of the school. Soon Indigo is reporting on these issues and others while reading letters written by Wells that recount not only her reporting and freedom fighting activities but also the emotional tool that took on her and her loved ones. I think that is where this book really shines--I felt the very personal impact standing up for what's right had on Ida, her family members, and her friends because Heather Murphy Capps keeps us so close to the day-to-day action of what makes real change possible. I also loved that she weaved classic friendship concerns like popularity, shifting alliances, and former friends into the school election plot where Indigo runs to not only report on what is wrong at the school, but to try to be a leader in making this better. In terms of content notes, there is racism and discrimination on the page and some concerning issues about healthcare and dementia are also explored. A truly excellent book that I hope middle grade readers and their parents will enjoy and discuss! Highly recommend! Thank you to Heather, the publisher, and NetGally for the chance to read early!!

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This book is a triumph! Definitely recommended reading for all ages!

Indigo is a typical middle grade student in many ways - struggling to fit in while standing out, mostly staying out of trouble, but Indigo sees more. There are problems in her school, and she tries her best to follow the example of Ida B Wells, an activist journalist whose biography and letters Indigo discovers while in detention.

Her eyes are opened to the sweeping injustices in her school and social setting, but also in her larger community.

And I'm sure the reader's eyes will be opened as well. Such a powerful story in one little book. It reminds us that we all have a voice. And that we need to use our voice!

"Indigo herself had been on the sidelines, playing it safe. Everyone who had shared their stories had been brave. Now it was time for Indigo to do her part."

Nothing changes until one person is brave enough to speak up.

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A wonderful blend of history and current events. The story features injustices that occur and demonstrates a way for how to affect change. A great book with wonderful lessons for young people.

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