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The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
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The Parker Inheritance

by Varian Johnson

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16110109,386 (4.17)8

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Love a mystery or have a child who does? Enjoy solving puzzles? Interested in how racism has affected us in the past and continues to do so? Want to take a stand for the LGBTQIA community? How about hidden identities? Dealing with the divorce of your parents or abandonment? Injustice? The emotional impact of revenge? Empathy? Empowerment? Finding your voice? So much is packed into this well-written book. I'll be recommending it highly in my grade 4/5 school library. ( )
  DonnaMarieMerritt | Feb 16, 2019 |
Excellent blend of past and present in this puzzling mystery. Some of the clues could have been a little easier, though, since this is an MG novel. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Feb 2, 2019 |
Candice and her author mom move to her late grandmother's home in Lambert, South Carolina while their Atlanta home is being remodeled to put on the market due to her parents' divorce. Candice planned to spend time with her friends that summer, but now she will be alone much of the time as her mom writes. Candice' grandmother served as Lambert's city manager until a letter presenting a puzzle and an opportunity to help Lambert's economy caused her to dig up the tennis courts. She resigned due to pressure from the town, leaving the puzzle unresolved. Candice befriends Brandon from across the street. They both share a love for reading. She finds her grandmother's letter in one of her old puzzle books in the attic and enlists Brandon to help her resolve the puzzle. They uncover the outcome of a 1957 tennis match between the black and white schools which forced the town's coach and his family as well as a player to leave town, assuming new identities. Candice and Brandon piece things together to solve the mystery. While I loved the puzzle itself and even the story behind it, I would never encourage a Christian young person to read this as some of the behavior of children and adults clearly defies biblical commands and moral teaching. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jan 22, 2019 |
This novel is nominated for Lone Star, 2019. It’s solidly a mystery and historical fiction as the chapters alternate between present and past. You may want to read The Westing Game first. If you don’t, you’ll read it after you read this book.

Candice has to spend the summer away from her friends in her late grandmother’s old house in a small town, compared to her hometown of Atlanta. She’s bummed. Her parents are divorcing, they’re pinched for money, mom needs to write faster to meet her deadlines, and Candice misses her dad. Her mom and the mom across the street are determined that Candice and Brandon meet so that they’ll have someone to hang out with during the summer. It ends up that they are very compatible. They both love reading and are pretty smart.

Candice discovers a box her grandmother left for her. Grandma was fired as the city manager when she tried to solve a puzzle and ended up digging up tennis courts using city resources. In the box is a letter that explains why her Grandmother did what she did. Candice quickly trusts Brandon to help her with the puzzle. They have to discover what happened in 1957 that ruined lives but would bring $40 million dollars to the city to help it deal with the past--to move on from a terrible event that has been swept under the rug, so to speak.

The novel mostly takes place in present time with Candice and Brandon, but chapters take place in the past letting the reader know what life was like in south in the 1950s for whites and blacks. It was an uneven existence with blacks being sorely mistreated but not allowed to seek justice or fairness. Candice and Brandon live in a time where they can’t possibly realize the abuses and sacrifices that occurred regularly. These chapters show the reader the past as well as the differences from then to now. Unfortunately, our society hasn’t progressed as far as one would hope as evident with what occurs in present day within the book.

If you like puzzles and mysteries, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this novel. I was going to read for an hour; I ended up reading the entire book without realizing time had passed. Read it. ( )
  acargile | Dec 9, 2018 |
When Candice and her mom move into her Grandma's old house she and the quiet boy across the street uncover a puzzle that once got her grandmother fired. As Candice and Brandon try to follow the clues left to her grandmother over fifteen years ago they find clues that uncover a terrible unjustice that happened over fifty years ago that just happens to be the key to solving the mystery - along with one of their favorite books, The Westing Game.

This really was a fantastic book. There is a lot going on - race relations, gender identity, a mystery, dealing with huge changes (moving, divorce) - but it didn’t feel overwhelming. Everything fit well together and the story felt believable. I especially like the subtle parallel between the struggle for civil rights and the current difficulties for LGBTQ. ( )
  agrudzien | Aug 8, 2018 |
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Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure--but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow book-worm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.… (more)

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