CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
Finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award
ILA Young Adults’ Choices
“A provocative, sensitive, and oh-so-timely read.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Ambitious, thought-provoking, and very readable.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Vaught brings history to life as she connects the past with the present, showing how acts of violence, betrayal, and courage both color and blend the histories of two families.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A mysterious note takes Dani Beans into the secrets of Ole Miss and its dark past in this compelling middle grade novel from the author of Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy.
“Sooner or later, we’re all gonna be okay.”
That’s what Dani’s Grandma Beans used to say. But that was before she got Alzheimer’s. Lately, Dani isn’t so sure Grandma Beans was right. In fact, she isn’t sure of a lot of things, like why Mac Richardson suddenly doesn’t want to be her friend, and why Grandma Beans and Avadelle Richardson haven’t spoken in decades. Lately, Grandma Beans doesn’t make a lot of sense. But when she tells Dani to find a secret key and envelope that she’s hidden, Dani can’t ignore her. So she investigates, with the help of her friend, Indri, and her not-friend, Mac. Their investigation takes them deep into the history of Oxford, Mississippi, and the riots surrounding the desegregation of Ole Miss. The deeper they dig, the more secrets they uncover. Were Grandma Beans and Avadelle at Ole Miss the night of the Meredith Riot? And why would they keep it a secret?
The more Dani learns about her grandma’s past, the more she learns about herself and her own friendships—and it’s not all good news. History and present day collide in this mystery that explores how echoes of the past can have profound consequences.
Buried truths about Mississippi's segregated past bubble to the surface in this evocative novel featuring a tenacious biracial 12-year-old who wants to know more about her African-American grandmother's history. Times have been difficult for Dani's family since her Grandma Beans, a renowned historian, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. To make matters worse, Grandma's feud with an award-winning author, Avadelle Richardson, has received new publicity. Nobody knows what started the rift, but it's hurting Dani's friendship with Richardson's grandson, Mac, who has been told he can no longer speak to Dani. Determined to get to the bottom of things, Dani dives into researching the two women, following a string of clues from their writings and uncovering much more than she bargained for. Interspersing segments of a fictitious novel about the 1962 riot at Ole Miss into the story, Vaught (Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy) brings history to life as she connects the past with the present, showing how acts of violence, betrayal, and courage both color and blend the histories of two families. Ages 10 14.