It's summer vacation, and twelve-year-old Nell has gone upstate to spend a month with Aunt Ursa and Cousin Foley. Seeing Foley's best friend, Slade, puts a smile on Nell's face, even when she tries to stay cool. Nell is enjoying the lazy days of summer, especially Foley's antics and Slade's flirty talk . . . until the boys surprise her with a frightening request. They want her to hide a pistol in her old dollhouse. Nell doesn't know what to do. Suddenly, she doesn't trust anyone, even herself. But when tragedy strikes, she knows she can't handle it on her own.
About the Author
Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times best-selling author of several books for young readers, including the novel Bird in a Box, a Today Show Al Roker Book Club for Kids pick, and Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America, winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award. Additional works include theCaldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor book Duke Ellington, illustrated by her husband, Brian Pinkney; and Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, a Coretta Scott King Honor book and winner of the Carter G. Woodson Award. Andrea Davis Pinkney lives in New York City.
"[A] poignant and ultimately uplifting coming-of-age story. . . Pinkney’s characters emerge complex and real in this tale of home-town pride and family loyalty."—Publishers Weekly"Shifting moods, increasing tension, and a well-defined setting make this novel compelling and thought-provoking for readers. . . . A good read."—School Library Journal"A rare look into the heart of a twelve-year-old girl as she balances the very real dangers of modern living against the unabashed joys of being in a close-knit black family. The author allows her characters to walk that dangerous edge between morality and adventure, which leads to insight."—Walter Dean Myers, Printz Award-winning author of Monster"It’s easy to fall in love with Nell and all the Gradys. Ms. Pinkney has the touch for healing and family recognition. . . . She makes you know that after tears, there’s laughter, and everything else is bound to be all right."—Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis