MIDDLE GRADE NOVEL: WORK IN PROGRESS

SYNOPSIS:

 

BURIED SECRETS

When 9-year-old CAULIN moves to Wade City, a small Florida town that not even Google can find, he’s confident this small strawberry-producing-town will be as unexciting as a day at the dentist. But he was mistaken. Caulin soon discovers that Wade City, Florida was once more famous than Hollywood because of what transpired there over seventy years ago.

In the spring of 1941, and after the disappearance of an eleven-year-old white girl, the KKK lynched a black man each day for 14 days straight. The African-American families were so terrified, they packed up and escaped in the night leaving land and possession behind. The KKK later took over the land claiming “adverse possession” according to Florida law.

When Caulin and his family arrived in Wade City, not everyone was happy to see them except LUCY, a ghost who roams the orchard in the back of their home. Lucy befriends Caulin, becomes his personal tour guide, and offers to help him adjust to “Southern life”. But there is a catch – help reunite her with her African-American Nanny.  Caulin enlists the help of his twelve-year-old sister, CLAUDIA, who reads a lot, knows everything, and is dubbed “The-Oreo-Nancy-Drew” by her fourteen-year-old twin brothers (NOTE: ‘OREO – black on the outside, white on the inside’).  Claudia starts researching Wade City, but cannot find anything about this small town on the internet until she met two Mexican boys at the library who introduced her to Miss Hattie Mae, Wade City oldest and only African-American resident.

After meeting with Hattie Mae, Caulin and Claudia dig up evidence that suggests Hattie Mae is Lucy’s mother and the Great-Great-Grandmother of their mother, Hattie Mae. When the town people learned that their secrets were about to be exposed, they go to great lengths to encourage the family to leave by resorting to some old rituals that were effective in the 1940’s. But after beating Breast Cancer, it’s going to take more than cross burning on front lawn, white sheets riding in on horses, and the KKK disguised as politicians to deter Caulin’s mother from fighting for what is rightfully hers. Will Caulin and Claudia expose the buried secrets and reunite an ailing old woman with her daughter? Or will fear and racism force them to flee their new home repeating history?

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