“Dream Country is a work that asks big questions and doesn’t offer easy answers – it’s perfect for teen readers who are looking for titles that stretch their understanding of the world and self. There’s also so much here for classrooms and book groups to dig into. This is truly a tour de force and an outstanding example of what young adult literature CAN do when it stretches and takes risks and is in the talented, careful, passionate hands of a master writer like Gibney.”
Shannon will be doing a residency at Albion College at the end of this month, visiting classes on Wednesday, January 30, and giving a reading on Thursday, January 31. She is looking forward to sharing Dream Country with the community there.
Dream Country has made Penn Graduate School of Education Professor Ebony Elizabeth Thomas’ fourth annual Best Books of 2018 for Young Readers list. “In choosing the list, Thomas and her team showcase authors and illustrators whose work deals with issues like gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class in ways that are real and empathetic,” (Penn GSE Newsroom post).
In the category of YA fiction, Thomas and her team write that they were “stunned” by Dream Country.
YALSA writes: “Five generations of family history unfold against the backdrop of the founding of Liberia in Gibney’s haunting novel. The five-part book begins in present day Minnesota before moving backward and forward in time, telling the stories of young people trying to find a home while also exploring what it means to be African as opposed to African American, or an immigrant versus a member of an indigenous people.”