Trouble the Water
by Frances O'Roark Dowell


Overview - From the award-winning author of Dovey Coe comes a sweeping tale of the friendship between a black girl and a white boy and the prejudices they must overcome in segregated Celeste, Kentucky, as the pair try to solve the mysteries surrounding a lonely old dog.  Read more...

 
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More About Trouble the Water by Frances O'Roark Dowell
 
 
 
Overview
From the award-winning author of Dovey Coe comes a sweeping tale of the friendship between a black girl and a white boy and the prejudices they must overcome in segregated Celeste, Kentucky, as the pair try to solve the mysteries surrounding a lonely old dog.

Eleven-year-old Callie is fearless, stubborn, and a little nosy. So when she sees an old yellow dog wandering around town by itself, you can bet she's going to figure out who he belongs to. But when her sleuthing leads her to cross paths with a white boy named Wendell who wants to help, the segregated town doesn't take too kindly to their budding friendship.

Meanwhile, a nearly invisible boy named Jim is stuck in a cabin in the woods. He's lost his dog, but can't remember exactly when his pup's disappeared. When his companion, a little boy named Thomas, who's been invisible much longer than he, explains that they are ghosts, the two must figure out why they can't seem to cross the river to the other side just yet...

And as Callie and Wendell's search for the old dog brings them closer and closer to the cabin in the woods, the simmering prejudices of the townspeople boil over.

Trouble the Water is a story that spans lifetimes, showing that history never truly disappears, and that the past will haunt us until we step up to change the present and stand together for what is right.


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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781481424639
  • ISBN-10: 1481424637
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books
  • Publish Date: May 2016
  • Page Count: 288
  • Reading Level: Ages 9-13
  • Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Friendship
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Prejudice & Racism
Books > Juvenile Fiction > People & Places - United States - African-American

 
BookPage Reviews

A poignant coming-of-age story in 1953

Award-winning author Frances O’Roark Dowell’s latest book is a page-turner, but not in the traditional sense. The plot doesn’t race along at breakneck speed, nor is there a life-or-death mystery to be solved. There are no car chases or spies or evil villains. Readers of Dowell’s previous books will understand that the appeal of Trouble the Water is the author’s top-notch character building and storytelling prowess. 

The town of Celeste, Kentucky, in 1953 is no hotbed of politics and civil rights. But to Callie, neither is it the worst place to live. The 11-year-old watches the black people live and prosper on her side of town and only quietly resents the new white school and the whites-only swimming pool. When the white boy Wendell comes to her side of town and wants to help her find the owner of a mysterious wandering dog, she figures that’s his business. Yet as their friendship blooms, tensions come to a boil.

Dowell has given us a true hero in the character of Callie, a girl just realizing what segregation means in her life. Understanding that she can’t change the world unless she’s willing to change herself first, Callie’s journey by way of a small mystery and meaningful friendship brings the past and present together in unexpected ways. The anticipation to see how Callie ends up in this turbulent time will keep you turning the pages, as promised.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews