Cass Bodine's father has just
built a fence between their home and the house next door because a black
family is moving in. Living in Tallahassee, Florida, Cass' family is blue
collar: Dad is a plumber, Mom works in child care, older sister Lou Ann
is boy crazy and wants to be a beautician, and the baby Missy is only a
year old. Cass likes to run. She is tall and thin. Jemmie Lewis, her new
black neighbor, is tall and a runner as well. Her mom is a nurse. Nana
Grace takes care of Jemmie and Baby Artie when Mrs. Lewis is at work. Mr.
Lewis died of cancer. Both Mr. Bodine and Mrs. Lewis are at odds. He thinks
blacks should learn their place. She considers him a redneck. However,
Cass and Jemmie become friends in spite of them, sharing all their common
interests. The friendship is a secret until Nana Grace discovers them.
How can this interracial friendship survive, in the face of such strong
family prejudice? Read Crossing Jordan and see! (Jean B. Bellavance
Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2003-2004)
Life is going to change big-time
for Cass. Miss Liz has died and now her big old house next door has
been sold. They've heard it's been sold to a black family.
Daddy doesn't like that one bit so he puts up a big stockade fence to separate
the two properties. Cass is under strict orders not to associate
with the new people. On the other side of the fence, Jemmie's mother
feels the same way about white folks. In spite of their families,
the girls do meet and find that they have many things in common -- including
running. As they strike up a secret friendship, they worry about
what will happen if their parents find out.