The Girl from Felony Bay

J.E. Thompson. HarperCollins/Walden Pond, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-210446-5
Thompson's children's book debut offers mystery and adventure, while simultaneously exploring the far reach of history, justice, race, and family. Narrator Abbey Force begins the summer before seventh grade on Leadenwah Island, living with her conniving uncle and aunt, working on the horse farm her family used to own, and visiting her comatose father in a Charleston hospital. Determined to clear him of charges of malpractice and theft, Abbey finds an unexpected ally in Bee Force, the daughter of Reward Plantation's new owner and a descendant of slaves Abbey's family once owned. "Oh my gosh.... I'm sorry," Abbey says at their initial meeting, to which Bee responds, "It was a long time ago.... Had nothing to do with the two of us." Upon learning that her father had planned to deed Felony Bay to other descendants of Force slaves, Abbey discovers a motive for why someone might have framed him. The girls make clever sleuths, well-drawn supporting characters offer both farce and intrigue, and the snake- and alligator-infested swamps provide sultry local flavor in this ethically nuanced and suspenseful whodunit. Ages 8–12. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 375 pages - 978-0-06-210447-2
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-210448-9
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