Use the timeline to find out more about things that actually happened during the times of the stories and people who actually lived.
Please remember this:
The dates in the timeline tell when the event or person
was mentioned in our stories.
The headlines help identify the person or event.
What do YOU think?
from Publisher's Weekly
“… Set in the 1950s… stories are narrated alternately by a pair of African-American girls who take pride in their heritage
but can’t always appreciate each other… Lots of texture and perceptive writing make this [series] a winner.”
from The Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books (BCCB)
“This is a fiction series about two girls with loving and supportive families living in a strong, vibrant community;
in the course of the series, both girls experience the universal joys and sorrows, triumphs and tragedies of growing up…
With the Ernestine & Amanda series, Belton has finessed a notable achievement: not only has she succeeded in making
sure African American children will see themselves in her lively, well-rounded, characters; she has succeeded in making sure that non-African American children will see themselves, too.”
“…Combines a sharply observed setting of middle-class African-American life in the mid-1950s with the kind of everyday realistic friendship story children enjoy so much... Belton writes very well… not only beautifully capturing the voices of her characters but also bringing the two feuding girls to the brink of friendship in a believable, endearing fashion… .”
That girl says a lot about things being different, but there’s one thing she didn’t even mention. And it’s the one thing you should definitely know: Nothing is more different that Ernestine and I are from each other.
We’re both 10 when our stories begin, but we
live in different neighborhoods, go to different schools,
and have different friends. From the looks of things, we even like different foods! (You’ll know what I mean after you read one of our stories.)
There is one thing that’s the same for Ernestine and me.
My sister, Madelyn, and Ernestine’s brother, Marcus,
like each other. Both of us agree that the two of them
being boyfriend and girlfriend is TERRIBLE!
So far our stories go from when we’re 10 to when we’re 13.
A lot happens and changes during that time. But in
my opinion, somebody—I’m not going to say who—
unfortunately keeps on being her same self!
Our stories take place in the 1950s and 1960s.
Wow! Almost 60 years ago!
In many ways, those times were like times today. Kids had best friends—and enemies (like I do). We had sisters and brothers who were sometimes a pain; we played games and hung around together when we could.
In other ways, things were really different. For one thing, we could never text our friends on cell phones because that kind of phone hadn't been invented yet! If we saw something that read JK LOL, we wouldn't have had any idea what it meant!
But you would, right?
Things were different in another very important way. Mostly I’m talking about how African Americans (most of us called ourselves “Negroes” then) were treated in America.
Sometimes our stories help show this. And sometimes the stories mention people who actually lived
and events that really happened.
I think this site will help you explore our times. But it won’t help you understand somebody whose name I’m not going to mention.
Join the conversation!
Visit "Sandra's Write Place" at
sandrabeltonbooks.blogspot.com and share your thoughts at
To learn more about this author, visit her website at
sandrabelton.com and check out the "Meet Sandra Belton" section.