- 180 p. ; 20 cm.
- "In a small town in 1950s Tennessee, nine-year-old David, who is white, and Malcolm, who is black, are blood brothers. Although David's racist father has forbidden their friendship, the boys enjoy wild, free-spirited adventures, exploring caves and acting out their favourite stories (Br'er Rabbit). But as the boys grow older and David's father's threats escalate, David wonders if his dad is a member of the Klan. Is his best friend's life in danger? Nostalgic scenes of small-town comforts contrast with the horror in the searing accounts of racism, which are true to David's viewpoint, and Johnston's vocabulary reinforces the effect in bone-chilling shifts from gentle, folksy, poetic colloquialisms to brutal racial slurs, including rampant use of the n-word. The author, who grew up in the South, begins her book with a charged, personal note: "The raw language . . . is my father's language and reflects a way of thinking that has troubled me my whole life." Readers, too, will feel haunted by this powerful story of a child awakening to family secrets and violence, and the racially motivated terrorism enforced by the Jim Crow South."--Provided by publisher.First published by Roaring Brook Press, Connecticut, 2007.