What It Is About: Candace and her mother have recently moved to South Caroline. They are going to spend the summer in Candace's grandmother's home. While "investigating" the home, she stumbles across a letter. This letter includes a mystery that her grandmother left for her to solve. The grandmother was involved in a scandal years earlier and was driven out of town. Candace loves a good mystery and includes a new friend named Brandon to track the clues that were left by a mystery man named James Parker. The story fluctuates between the present time with Candace and Brandon on a search for answers and the past that tells the story of Candace's grandmother, the townspeople, and a lot of money that was left by James Parker.
What I Thought Of It: The narration of the story was excellent. I enjoyed the plot of Candace and Brandon getting to know each other, following the trail of clues, and becoming fast friends. Of course the story of Candace's grandmother was also a compelling one and illustrated how our country was 60 some years ago. The themes of race, social class, and acceptance was strewn throughout the entire novel. There was a lot to keep track of and as I read, I wondered if young readers would be able to keep all the events straight in their heads. I'm glad I listened to the story and enjoyed it. There were a few moments when it got a bit long, but overall a wonderful story of the present, the past, and how all people want to be seen for who they are.
Who Should Read It: Because of the length of the book, I would recommend it for fifth, sixth, and middle-school readers. I do think it could make for an excellent read aloud, but again in grades five and above. Adult readers that enjoy middle-grade novels will definitely need to put this title on their TBR list. Happy Reading!!!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars