Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

How I Heard About It:  After listening to Donalyn Miller discuss her annual #bookaday on Facebook, I put this book at the top of my list.  I had a copy of it in my TBR pile.  I actually ended up listening to it over the last couple of weeks.  

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

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