Just South of Home

by Karen Strong

African American Sarah is less than thrilled when her grumpy cousin Janie arrives... read more

African American Sarah is less than thrilled when her grumpy cousin Janie arrives from Chicago to stay with her and her brother, Ellis, in Warrenville, Georgia. Sarah and Janie do not get along. Janie distracts Sarah from her astrobiology project, complains constantly about the small town, and worst of all, she shoplifts. When Janie takes a necklace from the ruins of a Black church destroyed by the Klan—against Sarah’s warnings—she awakens a haint, the spirit of a boy named Abner. With help from local historian and conjurer Mrs. Whitney, Sarah, Janie, Ellis, and their friend Jasper, all of who are Black, must find a way to put Abner’s spirit to rest. But they’ll have to keep it a secret from their strict grandmother, Mrs. Greene, who would prefer not to dwell on the town’s painful history of racial turmoil. A spooky ghost story and believable cousin drama ramp up the tension in this adventure. (Ages 8–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

show less