Trouble the Water
Juvenile historical fiction
"There was an uneasy peace between white and colored in
Celeste, and Mr. Renfrew understood how fragile it was, and how
scared colored folks were about breaking it. He himself had a cousin
in Breckinridge County who'd been lynched twenty years before, dragged
from the county jail after he'd been accused of attacking a white
woman. Violence was never far from the surface of any human
relations. Folks were right to fear it."
Trouble the Water is a rather unusual story about a girl, a boy,
an aged dog, and a couple of stranded ghosts. The girl, Callie, is
thrilled to be released from fifth grade by summer vacation. She
writes occasional pieces for a local weekly paper, yearns for
mysteries to solve, and finds just about any other activity preferable
to weeding her mother's garden. The boy, Wendell, is intrigued by his
father's childhood recollection of a run down cabin in the woods.
Perhaps he can find it and turn it into a club house. The old yellow
dog knows his time on earth is nearly up. He has a mission he must
achieve before he departs this mortal coil.
The old dog brings the girl and the boy together. After
achieving an uneasy truce, they begin looking for the old cabin.
There are people who don't approve of them being friends. She is
black; he's white. The year is 1953; the state is Kentucky. An
editorial has just come out in the black paper claiming that the
taxpayer funded swimming pool should be desegregated.
As for the two ghosts--read the book and discover their
This compelling coming of age story is another gem from an award
winning author...very end of summer read worthy.
On a personal note, my thrift shop research has helped me find some
cool stuff. My favorites have been a musical snow globe with
multicultural angels and a grab bag of cross stitch stuff including
two lovely already done pieces I aim to frame and hang in my studio.
A great big shout out goes out to the people, many of volunteers, who
keep thrift shops open.
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