Lets start this haunting October marathon with a chilling ghost story about segregation.
Do you know what it feels like to be forgotten?
On a cold winter night, Iris and her best friend, Daniel, sneak into a clearing in the woods to play in the freshly fallen snow. There, Iris carefully makes a perfect snow angel – only to find the crumbling gravestone of a young girl, Avery Moore, right beneath her.
Immediately, strange things start to happen to Iris: She begins having vivid nightmares. She wakes up to find her bedroom window wide open, letting in the snow. She thinks she sees the shadow of a girl lurking in the woods. And she feels the pull of the abandoned grave, calling her back to the clearing.
Obsessed with figuring out whats going on, Iris and Daniel start researching the area for a school project. They discover that Averys grave is actually part of a neglected and forgotten Black cemetery, dating back to a time when white and Black people were kept separate in life – and in death. As Iris and Daniel learn more about their towns past, they become determined to restore Averys grave and finally have proper respect paid to Avery and the others buried there.
But they have awakened a jealous and demanding ghost, one thats not satisfied with their plans for getting recognition. One that is searching for a best friend forever – no matter the cost.
A spooky story with an important historical topic.
This story dives deep into the history of segregation, mainly the subject of abandoned segregated graveyards. In my opinion, and Im hoping others agree, everything about segregation between Blacks and Whites is completely ridiculous. But segregating Blacks and Whites after death is even more outrageous.
The only thing more outrageous than Blacks and Whites being separate in death were the protests to desegregate schools. Let me put this another way: People protested kids going to school! Did these people not have anything better to do than to harass schoolchildren?
When I learned about segregation as a kid, I was mad about how Blacks were mistreated. It made no sense to me why people made such a fuss about Blacks and Whites using separate bathrooms, seats on the bus, drinking fountains, etc. The Frazz comic below proves my point.
Anyway, I enjoyed the diversity of the story. I found it interesting how Iris wrapped her braids up in a scarf when she slept.
Lets not forget that this is still a ghost story and nothing is quite as scary as a creepy ghost kid.
Overall, this is a book that all kids should read to open up discussions on segregation and racism.