This realistic fiction was a good book. It follows young Cassie and her three brothers as they deal with the prejudices against African-Americans in the South during the early 20th century. They learn first hand about the precarious situation of owning their own land and not depending upon the whites in the community, as well as how everything they do or say is judged by the white population.
This was a very good book–Taylor did a good job with keeping it interesting, and the climax kept me on the edge of my seat because in tough situations like these, you are afraid of what will happen because it has sadly happened far to often in real life.
However, I have also read Family by J. California Cooper who also writes about an African-American family, but during the Civil War era. She uses eubonics perfectly, whereas Taylor doesn’t. While the characers are actually speaking, some eubonics and Souther dialect are found, but when Cassie is narrating, it is perfect grammar, compared to the full eubonics of Cooper’s novel.
Since the main character is only in 4th grade, I would let any secondary education student (grade 6-12) read it. It deals with some heavy issues, but light enough that I would want an 11 or 12 year old to realize what happened in our past.