CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book Finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award ILA Young Adults’ Choices
“A provocative, sensitive, and oh-so-timely read.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Ambitious, thought-provoking, and very readable.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Vaught brings history to life as she connects the past with the present, showing how acts of violence, betrayal, and courage both color and blend the histories of two families.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A mysterious note takes Dani Beans into the secrets of Ole Miss and its dark past in this compelling middle grade novel from the author of Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy.
“Sooner or later, we’re all gonna be okay.”
That’s what Dani’s Grandma Beans used to say. But that was before she got Alzheimer’s. Lately, Dani isn’t so sure Grandma Beans was right. In fact, she isn’t sure of a lot of things, like why Mac Richardson suddenly doesn’t want to be her friend, and why Grandma Beans and Avadelle Richardson haven’t spoken in decades. Lately, Grandma Beans doesn’t make a lot of sense. But when she tells Dani to find a secret key and envelope that she’s hidden, Dani can’t ignore her. So she investigates, with the help of her friend, Indri, and her not-friend, Mac. Their investigation takes them deep into the history of Oxford, Mississippi, and the riots surrounding the desegregation of Ole Miss. The deeper they dig, the more secrets they uncover. Were Grandma Beans and Avadelle at Ole Miss the night of the Meredith Riot? And why would they keep it a secret?
The more Dani learns about her grandma’s past, the more she learns about herself and her own friendships—and it’s not all good news. History and present day collide in this mystery that explores how echoes of the past can have profound consequences.
Susan Vaught is the author of Edgar Award–winning novel Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy. It was a Junior Library Guild Selection, and The Horn Book called it “compelling, offbeat, and fearless.” Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry received three starred reviews, and Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood’s Revenge was called “an excellent addition to middle grade shelves” by School Library Journal. She works as a neuropsychologist at a state psychiatric facility, specializing in helping people with severe and persistent mental illness, intellectual disability, and traumatic brain injury. She lives on a farm with her wife and son in rural western Kentucky.