Author(s): Karyn Parsons
Boston was nothing like South Carolina. Up there, colored folks could go anywhere they wanted. Folks didn't wait for church to dress in their fancy clothes. Fancy was just life. Mama was a city girl . . . and now I was going to be one too.
It's 1944, and in the small, Southern, segregated town of Alcolu, South Carolina, eleven-year-old Ella spends her days fishing and running wild with her cousins. But life is not always so sunny. There is always danger lurking within the simmering tension of a town divided by race, and Ella's mother lives far away in Boston, dreaming of being a jazz singer.
Ella is therefore ecstatic when her mother invites her to visit. While in Boston Ella searches for evidence of the father she's never known, and also has her eyes opened to the possibility of a life she'd never dreamed of - one where African Americans can do as they please, and are respected. But her happiness is shattered when she returns home to the news that her classmate, George, has been arrested for the murder of two white girls. And nothing will ever be the same again.
Ella leaves her small town to live with her mamma in Boston and for the first time experiences life away from racial segregation. But it's not easy being in town away from her friends and everything she knows. And when she does make it back home she finds her friend has been accused of murdering two white girls. Ella makes lots of discoveries about the world and herself in this engaging book about growing up black in segregated America.