The Forgotten Girl

by India Hill Brown

After Iris and her best friend, Daniel, find the grave of an 11-year-old girl named... read more

After Iris and her best friend, Daniel, find the grave of an 11-year-old girl named Avery Moore in an abandoned cemetery near their homes, Iris begins seeing a Black girl at her second-floor window, calling her to come out and play. As part of a research project for school, Iris and Daniel learn that cemeteries in their community were once segregated, with many African American graveyards abandoned during the Great Migration. They also learn Avery Moore, who died in 1956, was one of 9 students who integrated their middle school in the 1950s, not long before she died. Neither Avery nor any of the other nine Black students are recognized on their school’s wall of fame. For African American Iris, who has just recently dealt with another racist incident at school, it isn’t right, but it also isn’t surprising. But the ghost of Avery is determined that neither she nor Iris will be forgotten, putting Iris’s life at risk. As a ghost Avery is frightening; as a girl she has a poignant, compelling history that Iris and Daniel are piecing together, one with a connection to both of their lives in this scary tale with a satisfying dimension of social history and social justice. (Ages 9–12)

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

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