Boston was nothing like South Carolina. Up there, colored folks could go anywhere they wanted. Folks didn't wait for church to dress in their fancy clothes. Fancy was just life. Mama was a city girl . . . and now I was going to be one too.
It's 1944, and in the small, Southern, segregated town of Alcolu, South Carolina, eleven-year-old Ella spends her days fishing and running wild with her cousins. But life is not always so sunny. There is always danger lurking within the simmering tension of a town divided by race, and Ella's mother lives far away in Boston, dreaming of being a jazz singer.
Ella is therefore ecstatic when her mother invites her to visit. While in Boston Ella searches for evidence of the father she's never known, and also has her eyes opened to the possibility of a life she'd never dreamed of - one where African Americans can do as they please, and are respected. But her happiness is shattered when she returns home to the news that her classmate, George, has been arrested for the murder of two white girls. And nothing will ever be the same again.
aryn Parsons is perhaps best known for her role as Will Smith's ditsy cousin Hilary Banks on NBC's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After leaving acting behind, Karyn went on to found and produce Sweet Blackberry, an award-winning series of children's animated films, to share stories about unsung black heroes in history, featuring narration from stars such as Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah and Chris Rock. The serie has been screened on HBO and Netflix, and is enjoyed by schools and libraries across the USA. How High The Moon is Karyn's self-authored debut middle grade novel. She lives and works in New York.
A stirring, emotionally resonant debut, How High the Moon opens a fresh and sensitive window on a terrifying time, even as it introduces us to a lovable new heroine Tony Abbott, author of Firegirl and The Great Jeff A tender and compelling story about loving and belonging. Parsons masterfully takes us on a journey where the political is personal, where the most heartbreaking moments are also profound and beautiful. Ella is a character readers will care about, cry with, and cheer for. How High the Moon is a stunning debut that promises to have readers wanting more and more from Parsons Renee Watson, author of Piecing Me Together In How High the Moon, Karyn Parson brings the same verve, timing, and emotive brilliance that she brought to the screen. Equal parts mystery, historical fiction, and coming-of-age, this is a story full of warmth and light and drama that will captivate you. That will haunt you. And that will ultimately enlighten you Kwame Alexander, author of The Crossover As compelling as Brown Girl Dreaming, as character-driven as One Crazy Summer, and as historically illuminating as Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry... A riveting read, this novel masterfully presents Southern and Northern conflicts through the perspective of a no-nonsense kid who is trying to find her place in the world. Ella's realistic voice and passionate responses to injustices make her a credible, flawed, and likable character who sees the truth in front of her but often doesn't recognize it. A captivating novel that sheds new light on black childhood Kirkus (Starred Review) A talented, engaging new voice. A brave, compassionate, and lovable heroine Jewell Parker Rhodes, author of Ghost Boys [An] impressive debut Mail on Sunday Parsons is great at unfurling the pleasures of the freer northern states through biracial Ella's eyes, but also adept at handling the subtleties of layered storytelling. -- Kitty Empire Observer Parson's sparkling debut grabs us by the heart and leads us by the hand into a painful past filled with revelations, hope, and homecoming. Absolutely glorious! Rita Williams Garcia, author of One Crazy Summer and Clayton Byrd Goes Underground So many things about this book were brilliant. A beautiful, funny, dangerous tale of growing up in Jazz Age America, How High The Moon is essential reading, full of voices that must be heard. One of the best stories I've read in a long while Emma Carroll, author of Letters from the Lighthouse and Secrets of a Sun King
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