Author: Latham, Jennifer
When Rowan finds a skeleton on her family's property, investigating the brutal, century-old murder leads to painful discoveries about the past. Alternating chapters tell the story of William, another teen grappling with the racial firestorm leading up to the 1921 Tulsa race riot, providing some clues to the mystery.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.90
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 189089
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 19.0 Quiz: 73053
School Library Journal (+) (00/11/16)
Booklist (+) (11/15/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/16)
The Hornbook (00/11/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2016 Gr 8 Up—Latham follows up Scarlett Undercover with a rich work that links past and present in a tale that explores racial prejudice. After the remains of a skeleton are found in her Tulsa, OK, backyard, 17-year-old Rowan Chase becomes consumed with finding out the story behind the death. As she digs into the mystery, Rowan's contemporary perspective alternates with that of another Tulsa teen: Will, a 17-year-old in the 1920s. Though separated by decades, the characters' lives intersect as the mystery of the skeleton unfolds in both time periods. Race, social inequalities, and entitlement are subjects the teens grapple with as they enter adulthood, Rowan in the current day and Will during the Tulsa race riots of 1921. Latham's enthralling, expertly paced plot will keep readers engaged, and the detailed imagery creates a strong sense of place in both time periods. The occasional mature language is deftly integrated and realistic for both the situations and the protagonists, who are relatable and well-developed. VERDICT Mystery fans will enjoy this cleverly plotted, suspenseful work, while the broader social issues will draw a wide audience. Educators will also find this title useful as a selection for discussion and cross-curricular lessons.—Tiffeni Fontno, Boston College Educational Resource Center - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/15/2016 *Starred Review* Rowan wants to enjoy one day of summer before her internship begins, but that ends when contractors working on her house find a skeleton in an outbuilding. Suddenly she’s caught up in the mystery of who the dead man was, why he was killed almost a century before, and how his death relates to a brutal race riot that wiped out the black Tulsa neighborhood of Greenwood in 1921. Latham masterfully weaves together the story of two well-off, mixed-race teenagers—Rowan, in the present, and Will, who lived in Tulsa in 1921—in this fast-paced, tension-filled look at race, privilege, and violence in America. Both struggle to do the right thing, even as Rowan tries to look past her family’s wealth, and as the Klan begins to bear down on Will and his family. Latham skillfully uses the chapter-by-chapter narrator switch to ratchet up tension, all the while keeping readers guessing as to the true identity of the skeleton and to the ultimate fate of Will and the friends he helps save. This timely story gives readers an unflinching look at the problem of racism, both past and present, while simultaneously offering the hope of overcoming that hatred. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.