Read Lunch-Box Dream by Tony Abbott Online


Bobby and his family are visiting Civil War battlefields on the eve of the war’s centenary, while inside their car, quiet battles rage. When an accident cuts their trip short, they return home on a bus and witness an incident that threatens to deny a black family seats. What they don’t know is the reason for the family’s desperation to be on that bus: a few towns away, theBobby and his family are visiting Civil War battlefields on the eve of the war’s centenary, while inside their car, quiet battles rage. When an accident cuts their trip short, they return home on a bus and witness an incident that threatens to deny a black family seats. What they don’t know is the reason for the family’s desperation to be on that bus: a few towns away, their child is missing.Lunch-Box Dream presents Jim Crow, racism, and segregation from multiple perspectives.  In this story of witnessing without understanding, a naïvely prejudiced boy, in brief flashes of insight, starts to identify and question his assumptions about race....

Title : Lunch-Box Dream
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780374346737
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lunch-Box Dream Reviews

  • Wendy
    2019-01-18 16:09

    I don't know what this book is supposed to be, or when I've read a children's book that seems so wildly unappealing to children. Almost all the characters are thoroughly unpleasant, the protagonist is weirdly obsessed with black people in a way that seems unrealistic (his very first reaction to the idea of a bus trip is ugh because they'll have to ride with black--pardon, "chocolate" people?), false drama is created, and there's a vaguely creepy ultimate scene where the child protagonist deigns to touch a black woman. This all reads like a self-indulgent creative writing exercise, not a novel for children.

  • Ricardo P
    2019-01-29 21:09

    This book is a good choice for people who like history and realism, as it treats the racism of the 50’s in a real way, giving those who like history a great option to read.Bobby and his family are heading for a family trip in which the arrival does not matter much since Bobby only wants to go to the Battlefields that are on the way, Jacob is spending the summer with his uncle and his aunt.In this book you can find many pros as the fact that they treat racism in a real way, since you can see how at that time parents raised their children to be racist, Another point in favor for the book is that it handles the two stories in a way that when they intertwine does not feel forced. But we can not forget the bad points of the story, one of them would be the secondary characters, I feel that they were so focused on forming their main characters that they almost forgot their secondary characters, for example we have the character of the grandmother that nobody It explains nothing about it and does not give us a reason why it is there, another bad thing about this story is that loses the rhythm of the story and becomes boring to the point that you think you're going to sleep, but if you keep reading it, you'll resume the good rhythm that the story have before.In conclusion if you are looking for a book that reflects the life of white people and people of color at that time is a good book, which you can read quickly.

  • Betsey Brannen
    2019-02-17 00:11

    I'm trying to figure out why this book gets such bad reviews. I actually really enjoyed it.I liked the dichotomy of the families. White, middle-class, miserable, and unloving, vs. black, poor, and close knit family.To see the Jim Crow laws of the 1950's through the eyes of a child is rather unlike anything you'll ever understand or know.

  • Angie
    2019-01-26 16:21

    Bobby and his family take a trip south to see the Civil War battlefields. Jacob is spending the summer with his aunt and uncle. This book is told from various narrators perspectives and it makes for a very disjointed telling. It is supposed to highlight Jim Crow laws in the South during the 1950s and it does a bit, but it isn't a very effective story. Bobby is obsessed with death and "chocolate" people. His mom actually wrecks her car to get away from a couple of African Americans (who aren't doing anything to harm her). It does highlight the irrational fear whites had for blacks at that time. Jacob and his family are black and their story is told from many members of their family's perspective. It is a very disjointed telling of their experiences living under Jim Crow and being treated as second class. Bobby and Jacob's stories finally come together at the very end, but it is kind of forced and really doesn't mesh; overall it is pretty poorly done. This book is supposed to be a testament on civil rights but it really doesn't work. There are many other books out that do a really good job portraying live during the 1950s and 1960s...this isn't one of them.

  • Amy
    2019-01-30 16:08

    This didn't work. The novel takes place in 1959 and was written to demonstrate Jim Crow laws in the South. Mr. Abbott splits his tale into several narrators (members of a white family and a black family)and how their lives intertwine. I found it all quite messy to follow. Each family and their story is compelling and would most likely make a good novel on their own but putting them together gave me a migrane. I'm afraid there are so many distractions with the various plots, that young readers will just be confused.

  • Carrie
    2019-02-10 20:55

    I was expecting much more from this book, and it disappointed terribly. I thought there'd be more learning by the young boys from Ohio. I thought there'd be more interaction between the two groups of people. The interaction consisted of alternating chapters. I guess I either didn't get what the author was trying to do, or I couldn't get past what I expected of the book.

  • Shelley
    2019-02-09 18:57

    About ten characters in two different families are telling their stories during a summer in 1959. The stories briefly, nearly touch for about two pages. I do not know why this book was written or who would like it. 1.5 stars? I don't want to just give it one, I reserve that for books that I actively dislike.

  • meg
    2019-01-26 18:13

    Lunch-Box Dreams presents Jim Crow, racism, and segregation from multiple perspectives. The year is 1959, and two interwoven narratives tell a coming-of-age story. The main characters are two grade-school age white boys from Ohio on a road trip with their mother and grandmother, visiting Civil War battlefields on the eve of the war’s centenary. Ricky is sensitive, thoughtful and deeply curious. His brother Bobby, the self-proclaimed “bad one,” is naively prejudiced and quite unlikeable- at least until the closing pages. Meanwhile, 9-year-old African-American Jacob leaves his sister and her husband in Atlanta to visit relatives in small-town Dalton, Ga. The two stories eventually come together in Georgia when the road-trip car gets into an accident. Bobby and Ricky finds themselves on the same bus with Jacob’s family, who are on an emergency trip to find the boy, who’s gone missing. Jacob’s family’s crisis leads Bobby to question his assumptions about race.The narrative shifts from Bobby’s perspective to the accounts of a number of secondary characters. I found these voices to be less developed than Bobby’s, and the multiple perspectives at times confusing. In addition, there are a number of historical references to both the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement (Jim Crow Laws, marches, boycotts, and Emmett Till) that may be unfamiliar to 5th grade readers. Nonetheless, it is a griping story about a very important topic.

  • Susan
    2019-01-23 15:53

    While the mix of stories did not work all that well, I still gave the book five stars for the depth of the plot. This was 1960, and many white families truly did not understand anyone outside their race. They didn't mean anything by it; they weren't made to understand, they weren't exposed to anyone outside their race, and they weren't corrected much when they called anyone with darker skin "chocolates." I have a problem with reviewers who pan a book and then say it was set in 1952! Get your facts straight if you are going to pan a book. There is a big difference in a few years in this time period. The power of Abbott's story lies in the poignance of the travel and how the families were able to accomplish it. However, that being said, I don't know if there is an audience for the book without a lot of talk from librarians and teachers. But that's our job!!! GET OUT THERE AND TALK IT! I'm a white, 64-year-old Southerner who lived through this time, and this story needs to be told and told and told, in many ways. I loved this book, flaws and all, and flaws there are.

  • Angelica
    2019-01-29 16:03

    Lunch-Box Dream is such a touching book. It is about 2 stories of 2 diffenrent races, one white and one black. In the (white) family we have a Grandma, Mom, Brother named Ricky and another brother named Bobby. It takes place in Cleveland, Ohio. Bobby has had a hard time trying to live on though life without his Grandpa, he is scard for life of his 1st death from his Grandpa. So almost in each chapter he is haunted by death and he has to go though some really bad times.In the (black) family there is a mom, dad, 2 wives, 2 husbands, Cora age 15, and Jacob age 9. When Jacob goes and tries to spend the summer with his Aunt and Uncle he gets lost in his trip and his family does everything to try to get him back with every ounce of love they have for him.

  • Ruth Aileen
    2019-01-18 21:00

    This book was terrible. It was hard to read and I lost track of what was going on.

  • Sharon
    2019-02-07 21:10

    I had high hopes for this book. A family from Cleveland, OH taking a road-trip South, visiting Civil War Battlefields along the way. An extended family in the South, dealing with the vile Jim Crow laws and suffering various indignities that existed during 1959. What is bothering me is a seemingly lack of character development and I think I needed more back story. Most of the characters, in their description and actions, are unlikeable. Bobby shows a bit of humanity in the end, but I certainly expected more strength of character in dealing with the various situations they are thrust into. I thought the fear and angst displayed by Bobby's family was overwrought. I completely understood the attitudes and reactions of Jacob's family as a result of the region and the time in which they lived. This book provides a realistic look into the indignities suffered by far too many of our fellow citizens during this period of our collective history. That is why I gave it three stars. Bobby's family is definitely in crisis and they lack the communication skills and loving relationship to make them sympathetic. This book seems like it was written for Grades 4 through 8; I don't believe it is appropriate for the younger range. It raises more questions and concerns than it resolves.

  • Anne
    2019-01-24 18:03

    This book is a worthy, affecting story - placed during the Civil Rights era. It is challenging to follow as the chapters keep switching among persons' points of view to tell parallel but separate stories. The narratives only intersect at the very end. A couple of taunting boy-talk brother dialogs would cause me to recommend this book to age 11-12 who are willing to read the notes at the end before the story, and then work to put together the threads of families based on the list in the front of the book.

  • Katie Tracy
    2019-01-28 22:56

    This book takes place in the Civil Rights era. It starts with a boy named Bobby and has other characters tell stories from their perspective shortly after. This book was kind of confusing to me and I honestly would not recommend it. I wish it had focused on Bobby's character development instead of focusing on the secondary characters.

  • Amanda Hughes
    2019-01-26 19:52

    I usually like multi-voice stories, but this one was really confusing to me. I felt that the book didn't reach it's potential. I was really disappointed.

  • Melissa McGuire
    2019-02-17 16:56

    It was a easy read but I honestly don't really get the story of the book. There was no point to it. The white family didn't have anything to do with the story at all

  • Cierra
    2019-02-17 21:52

    Summary: A middle grade novel following the POV’s of a white family and a black family in the age of segregation and Jim Crow laws.Page Length: 192 pagesPublished: 2011Pros:-quick read (one of the things I love about middle grade)-contains scenes that are really heartfelt and capture the reality of segregation during the 1950s and 1960s-Bobby’s POV was the only tolerable perspective, and sometimes I even found his character to be rather dullCons:-the characters….none of them are all that memorable and only Bobby’s POV kept my attention (and during a few short chapters)-I wouldn’t call this a ‘moving’ story about racism in the 1950’s. I found nearly moving or memorable about the story that really stood out-After finishing the book, I still don’t understand the connection to the titleRecommend?: Sadly, no.Final Rating: 2/5*Published On Cierra's Heart Of Books*

  • Barb Middleton
    2019-01-24 18:01

    There's no arguing that Tony Abbott has beautiful writing. He can take a moment and stretch it into a melodramatic and moving sequence of images. His love of trains is obvious from The Haunting of Derek Stone series to his latest novel, Lunch-Box Dream: "'There they are! The tracks. I see them. Drive across.' And she drove the car forward on the flat road, nearly stopping where the dark rails sliced it, then rolled over them without power, until horns started honking behind them and they had to speed up again."That's Ricky, Bobby's older brother who is a train-loving, history buff. Bobby narrates most of this story and from the get-go the author makes the reader uncomfortable with Bobby's derogatory comment about the African American garbage men as being "chocolate men." Bobby and his brother, Ricky, are afraid of the men and run into the house. Their grandma is visiting from Florida and has a Hungarian accent that also makes the boys uncomfortable. Ricky, Bobby and their mom are going to drive their grandma home stopping off at battlefields from Ohio to the deep south during 1959. The alternate story is from several different African American characters and follows the story of a boy named Jacob who is visiting his aunt in the south and like Bobby is not cautious about his speech. And in the south if an African American whistles at a white girl or says something derogatory, he or she can get brutally murdered and there are no laws that will ensure justice. The Jim Crow laws are in effect and while Lincoln might have passed the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery has taken on a different form in the mandated segregation laws.Abbott does such a good job at showing rather than telling that I was confused at times as to where he was going with the story. It comes together at the end but I found all the different points of view kept me from engaging with the characters. Plus, Bobby is not a likable kid. He is mean to his brother, thinks ill of people different than him, and thinks it's okay to steal. While he changes at the end, it is not until the last chapter. Make sure you read and reference the Cast of Characters listed after the copyright page. There are 16 in total to keep tabs on. You'll need it to keep straight all the different characters speaking in each chapter. I also don't think the Jim Crow Laws and Emancipation Proclamation are explained enough for younger readers to understand the author's message. The violence is told second hand and some of the characters are physically abused by their fathers. While the book has short chapters and looks like it is for young reader's, don't be fooled, I would recommend this for grades 5 and up.Reading Level 5.73 out of 5 Smileys

  • David
    2019-02-01 22:06

    Lunch-Box Dream by Tony Abbott is an historical fiction novel set in 1959 following two families and segregation, Jim Crow, and racism from multiple perspectives.Naive Bobby and his family from Ohio are visiting Civil War battlefields and taking their mother to Florida, while quiet battles rage inside their car. After an accident cuts their trip short, they go to return home by bus and witness an incident that threatens to deny a black family seats on the bus. They don't realize that the family is desperate to be on the bus because their child is missing, with the possibility of racial violence. We discover the many thoughts of Bobby during this trip, traveling in the car that killed his grandfather, thoughts of all dead people killed during the Civil War, and musings about all the "chocolate" people they encounter, and others reactions to them. In alternating chapters, we read the thoughts from family members of Jacob, a cheeky Negro boy visiting his realtives in rural Georgia. The combination of the two stories was interesting but sometimes at odds and confusing. The goal of looking at the problems, reality, emotions and perceptions of racism, Jim Crow laws and segregation is achieved, though in a way that may be confusing for younger readers. The limited connection between these two families may lessen the impact of this story. The very naive, self absorbed Bobby may distract some readers from the serious issues being discussed. Yet, this is a valuable look at the racial conditions and prejudices of the late 1950's as seen through a child's eyes, even when it is a bit challenging or confusing for some readers. With discussion this could be an effective look at segregation, reaism, and Jim Crow. For ages 9 to 13, historical fiction, racism, segregation, Jim Crow, and fans of Tony Abbott.

  • Kristie
    2019-01-26 20:12

    I was fortunate to have received this book as a First Reads. If you are a fan of historical fiction and enjoy reading young adult books then this is a good choice. There do not seem to be many books in this genre for this age so I appreciate Mr. Abbott's writings.I had my 13 year old read it before me and he enjoyed the story (because he loves social studies) but was a little confused about the characters. I was too, but luckily Mr. Abbott included a list of characters and their relationships at the beginning of the book. In addition, both of us would like to have seen more action from all of the characters and especially more interaction between the young boys of the two main families, one being African American and the other white. I was so hoping one of the younger kids would (at some point) question the mistreatment of their fellow, darker travelers but this book was more of a character study of the times than action packed. I did appreciate the references to some of the more well known news events of the Civil Rights era within the book and hope that the younger readers would either be familiar with them or be interested enough to investigate them further by asking questions. After reading this, my son and I had discussions about Jim Crow laws, the horrific prejudices and the happenings associated with it during the late 1950's and early '60's. To me, the definition of a good book is one that teaches me something or makes me think about something I may never have thought about before. My son learned several things about one of the most important times of recent history because of this book.

  • Books Kids Like
    2019-02-05 00:06

    Bobby, his mother, and his older brother are taking Grandmother and her car to Florida. Starting in Ohio, they visit various Civil War sites because of Ricky’s obsession with that historical period. Bobby feels detached from his brother’s enthusiasm, but thoughts of President Lincoln’s assassination, Grandfather’s fatal heart attack several months before, and the grizzly deaths of so many Civil War soldiers begin merging in Bobby’s mind. For the first time in his life, he begins to see a world outside of his own self-absorption. When his mother wrecks the car in Atlanta, Bobby dreads returning home on the bus with “chocolates” (his name for colored people). As they wait to board the bus, he learns that his family bought the three tickets promised to a black family desperate to get to Dalton, Georgia, where their young son is the presumed victim of racial violence. Their despair stirs something in Bobby’s heart. The two stories unfold separately until the end of the book. Abbott tells about the white family’s journey in third person with Bobby as the most developed character. The black family’s story is told through several first person accounts which focus primarily on the South’s racial tension. The Civil War, Lincoln’s assassination, slavery, the racial atmosphere of the 1950s, and Bobby’s fear of blacks, death, and his father’s physical abuse provide a loosely knit theme that’s just too nebulous to truly grasp. The alternating narratives are confusing because it’s hard to keep track of the black people and their relationship to each other. And, then, there are the plot elements that remain unresolved.

  • Mary Ann
    2019-01-28 16:55

    Inspired by his own childhood trip touring the Civil War battlefields in June 1959, Abbott (Firegirl, Little Brown, 2006; and the Secrets of Droon series, Scholastic) crafts a spare, yet complex tale of the segregated South in the late 1950s. Bobby and his family are traveling from Ohio to Florida, visiting Civil War battlefields as they take his grandmother back to St. Petersburg. Above all, Bobby is an observer, a child who watches everyone around him, thinking and wondering, but only occasionally stepping into the action. Bobby is certainly influenced by his surroundings, and his thoughts reflect unquestioned prejudices. In alternating chapters, Abbott also tells the story of Louisa and her family, an African American extended family living in Atlanta and Dalton, a small town about ninety miles north of Atlanta. Louisa sends her younger brother Jacob to live with her brother- and sister-in-law. But one day, Jacob goes missing and the family fears racial violence, a real fear influenced by events in the news and all around them. Abbott brings his novel to a powerful, well-written climax as these two sets of characters meet in a bus station in Dalton. But the road to this climax is uneven. The chapters about Louisa and her family are told in first person by many different secondary characters, and Abbott does not develop sufficiently unique voices for each character. Bobby’s gradual awakening to his own prejudices is interesting and compelling, but most of his struggles are quite internal as he wrestles with his relationships with his older brother and mother. Abbott provides an interesting look at an important time in our history, but the overall results are uneven.

  • Pam
    2019-01-30 23:14

    Tony Abbott manages to weave several plot lines and two historical tales in this wonderful novel. It is 1959 and a white family from Ohio sets off on a trip to Florida. One of the two brothers is a Civil War enthusiast so the family plans visits to battlefields on the way. The black family's trip involves the young son going to Ohio from Atlanta to visit relatives "in the country." How the journeys become interwoven is the result of the segregated/Jim Crow policies, as well as several misunderstandings.The author uses an interesting technique of switching narrators. This book would make an excellent introduction to or reinforcement of point of view lessons. The narrator we learn the most about is Bobby, the younger brother of the white Ohio family. He is a dynamic, flawed character and we witness how the trip changes him. Character traits is another fiction element that can be studied deeply in this novel. Lunchbox Dreams is an easy read for most upper elementary/early middle school students. It would be a great novel to correlate with history lessons on the Civil War or the Civil Rights movement. The book is so richly written that many reading targets can be examined if this is a class read. Compare and contrast, as well as cause and effect are two that come to mind.

  • Becky
    2019-01-30 19:07

    Ages 10-14. It's 1959, and at first Bobby is excited to go with his mother and brother Ricky to return their grandmother to Florida from Ohio, even if it means visiting all the Civil War battlefields between here and there because Ricky is obsessed with them. Then Bobby realizes that the car he's riding is the same car that killed his grandfather, then they cross the railroad tracks where Lincoln's funeral procession passed over, and the thoughts of all the dead bodies crowding the battlefields overwhelms him. Amidst all this, Bobby wonders about all the "chocolate" people he encounters, and the white people's reaction to them. In alternating chapters, we hear from various family members about Jacob, a cheeky young Negro boy sent to visit his aunt and uncle in rural Georgia. Eventually Bobby's and Jacob's paths cross, but not in any way you'd expect, and the climax of the story is strange, puzzling, and a bit disappointing. An odd coming of age story set during the time of Jim Crow. I would have liked either a story about Bobby coming to terms with his grandfather's death (and death in general), or Bobby connecting with the "chocolate" people, but the combination of both doesn't really work in this.

  • Mz. Diana Gagliardi
    2019-02-01 22:54

    This book was dense enough and with enough other things going on that I had actually forgotten that I had read it until I got to the very end (and still didn't remember what the outcome was going to be).Bobby and his brother, mother, and grandmother are driving his late grandfather's car to Florida with the promise of an airplane ride home. Ricky, brother, is thrilled to be driving through the south, as an avid Civil War buff.The more realistic of uncomfortable feelings than I would have expected, especially through the eyes of an eight year old.Jacob is leaving his "mother" and "father"- his older sister and her husband- in Atlanta to go north and spend the summer with other family. He's taller than his nine year old age and doesn't always realise that he shouldn't say some of the things he says.When he disappears and both families end up locationally together, Bobby realises that not all boxes are coffins.

  • Ryan
    2019-02-14 17:53

    The best description is that I was looking in on someone else's dream, and that someone else was a child. All the parts that would have provided me with context were viewed from a different perspective so they looked different, unfamiliar. Kids see the world from the back seat of cars and I've not sat in the back seat in years. Details that raised questions for me seemed relatively unimportant to the characters so I was left wondering what would happen, but not about anything being told. More readable than I suspect many dreams would be, but still odd and very depressing. (view spoiler)[Bobby's life is clearly nearing some catastrophe, and Jacob, by the nature of who he is, will not have an easy one. They come together in what I think of as the least desirable of places, but never meet. (hide spoiler)]

  • Naima
    2019-01-18 20:14

    This is possibly the most disappointing book I have ever read. Maybe it's because I was told to read it, or because I had something better to read but I had to force myself to devote my time to this, but I mainly disliked it because there was NO PLOT. Like, at all. The "plot" they describe in the back of the book happens literally in the last 40 pages. Plus, all the characters were SO IRRELEVANT. Half of the time, they were talking about unnecessary things, like Bobby describing his brother's coke bottle glasses for an entire chapter. The character's names in general annoyed me. Just reading "Weeza" on a page made me want to throw this book across the room. The writing style sounded boring, all vague one-liners that made no sense. I don't know what I expected from a book with an average rating of less than 2.7 stars.

  • Mrs. Aubrey
    2019-01-19 17:17

    The author, Tony Abbot, does a nice job of telling the story of the late 1950's from the point of view of two families travelling through the South. One white family witnesses the Jim Crow laws and another, a black family lives under their harshness.Jacob, age , and his uncle travel from Atlanta to Dalton GA to visit family. Jacob goes missing and his scared family fears he's become a black victim of violence.Bobby' family is driving his grandmother back to Florida and stopping along the way to visit notable Civil War battlefields. An unexpected wrong turns leads to an car accident and the end of their car trip. This turn of events put both families at the same bus station each wondering about the other. Bobby begins to see the harsh reality of the world he has grown up in and begins to have a small change of heart just as the country enters the turbulent 1960s.

  • Vanessa West
    2019-02-16 18:20

    Lunch Box Dream is an historical fiction book that is intended for children between the ages of ten and fourteen years old. The book is about a boy names Bobby and his family experiencing some uncomfortable situations on their trip to take their Grandmother back to Florida, but they also stop along the way to visit Civil War battlefields. Tony Abott does a good job bringing conflicts of the 1950’s to life and describing how people feel in these situations. The plot of the story takes a little while to unwind completely since he has put a few different topics in the book but once it does it makes a for a good book. It was sometimes confusing to me because it was spoken in both 1st and 3rd person. I feel some children would enjoy the book however it may be hard for them to really relate.

  • Jamie Cooper
    2019-02-11 19:10

    This is a great historical fiction read for the middle school level. The story presents racism and segregation in a way that helps students the events and struggles that people faced. This story is about different families that set out on trips. One boy notices a family be denied seats on a bus, and his world is filled with confusion. He finds out that the family needs to find their missing child, and because of their race, they are unable to ride the bus to find her. This changes the boy in the family’s perspective on race. I would use this story in a reading classroom to discuss hard topics and interest the students in the reading which will help them have deeper and richer conversations in the classroom.