From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—In Adrian Fogelin's contemporary novel (Peachtree, 2000), set in Tallahassee, Florida, 12-year-old Cass Bodine's racist father erects a fence between his house and the house of their new next door neighbors, who are black. "If they stay out of our business and we stay out of theirs, we'll get along fine," he informs his daughter. Despite the racial prejudice on both sides of the fence, Cass and Jemmie, the girl next door, become best friends through a mutual love of running and the trials and tribulations of reading Jane Eyre
. When the parents discover the girls' secretive relationship, they forbid them to see each other. But events continue to evolve, and the hearts of both families are tested. The rationale behind bigotry is well fleshed out and delicately examined, but sometimes feels a little over done. Nevertheless, the characters are believable and the story line is sensitive and honest. Fogelin's narration reflects her intricate knowledge of the characters, and she brings the emotional depth of each scene to life. Southern life resonates as the author expertly defines each character's unique traits and dialect. An engrossing, evenhanded look at prejudice and interracial friendship.—Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL
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"In this sensitive portrait of black-white relations in a changing neighborhood, Fogelin offers a tactful, evenhanded look at prejudice." --USA Today
"Fogelin creates Cass and Jemmie as complex characters with the same differences of approach and personality that mark the interactions of other best friends, whatever their skin color. Cass' straightforward voice never falters, even when she questions her father's beliefs and her own decisions. Readers will appreciate the honesty of Fogelin's approach and applaud the two girls in their fast friendship." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"...Jemmie and Cass are likable, lively characters, and readers will enjoy the repartee between them." --School Library Journal
"Old experiences and lifelong attitudes are hard to overcome, as Adrian Fogelin deftly demonstrates in her portrayal of Cass' dad and Jemmie's mom. Fogelin's characters are complex, fallible, and loving, as are real people, making Crossing Jordan an engrossing coming-of-age story...." --Orange County Register