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The South on the eve of the civil rights movement, as seen through the eyes of this novel’s plucky nine-year-old narrator. Starla Claudelle lives in Mississippi with her stern grandma. Her daddy is away working on an oil rig. Her mama has gone to Nashville to be a star, so Starla decides to head there when she gets herself in trouble one too many times. She’s offered a ride by a black woman named Eula, who has with her a white baby found abandoned on the steps of a church. Eula takes Starla and the baby home, but violence forces them back on the road with no money and a truck about to break down. During their long and sometimes perilous trip, Starla sees firsthand what it’s like to be the wrong color in a segregated society, and her keen sense of injustice and need for love help her create a bond with Eula that transcends any barriers. It’s not easy to keep such a young narrator convincing for more than 300 pages, and for the most part, author Crandall manages it well. Readers will take to Starla and be caught up in her story. --Mary Ellen Quinn --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"A coming-of-age story as well as a luminous portrait of courage and the bonds of friendship. . . Susan Crandall tells young Starla’s story with pitch-perfect tone, evoking 1963 Mississippi and its struggles with a deft hand. I laughed and cried at Starla’s keen observances of life and family and the sometimes blurred edges of justice. Like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, Whistling Past the Graveyard is destined to become a classic.” (New York Times bestselling author Karen White)
It’s not easy to keep such a young narrator convincing for more than 300 pages... Readers will take to Starla and be caught up in her story. (Mary Ellen Quinn Booklist)
“Crandall delivers big with a coming-of-age story set in Mississippi in 1963 and narrated by a precocious 9-year-old…Young Starla is an endearing character whose spirited observations propel this nicely crafted story.” (Kirkus)
“Starla’s fiery independence makes her a likable narrator.” (Publishers Weekly)
The story keeps moving, and even becomes a page-turner. Having grown up in the South, I noticed some of the Southern phrases are not quite as I know them to be, but others are... Read morePublished 2 days ago by NatureNut
Everyone in our book club loved this book.We all loved the main character, who reminded us all of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Linda
What a great look back at the early 60's, a generation I happen to share. Although the I grew up a little further north, many of the same attitudes existed in my home town, and I... Read morePublished 11 days ago by T. Lapin
Excellent book. I liked how it was told from a child's point of view.Published 11 days ago by Leigh Leadingham
This was the hardest book for me to read - at least the beginning. I was dreading what would happen. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Squishythefish