Whistling Past the Graveyard

By Susan Crandall
(Gallery Books, Hardcover, 9781476707723, 320pp.)

Publication Date: July 2, 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback, Compact Disc, MP3 CD

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2013 Indie Next List
“Fall in love with spunky Starla Claudelle, who runs away from a strict grandmother in 1963 Mississippi to find the mother she hasn't seen since she was three. As she journeys with a black woman named Eula, Starla has her eyes opened to larger issues of race and segregation. This wonderful novel will be devoured by book clubs and will cause every parent who finishes it to immediately find and hug their children. -Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction”
-- Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2013 Indie Next List
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2013 Indie Next List


Description

In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old spitfire Starla Claudelle runs away from her strict grandmother’s Mississippi home. Starla hasn’t seen her momma since she was three—that’s when Lulu left for Nashville to become a famous singer. Starla’s daddy works on an oil rig in the Gulf, so Mamie, with her tsk-tsk sounds and her bitter refrain of “Lord, give me strength,” is the nearest thing to family Starla has. After being put on restriction yet again for her sassy mouth, Starla is caught sneaking out for the Fourth of July parade. She fears Mamie will make good on her threat to send Starla to reform school, so Starla walks to the outskirts of town, and just keeps walking. . . . If she can get to Nashville and find her momma, then all that she promised will come true: Lulu will be a star. Daddy will come to live in Nashville, too. And her family will be whole and perfect. Walking a lonely country road, Starla accepts a ride from Eula, a black woman traveling alone with a white baby. The trio embarks on a road trip that will change Starla’s life forever. She sees for the first time life as it really is—as she reaches for a dream of how it could one day be.




About the Author

Susan Crandall is an award-winning women’s fiction, suspense, romance, and mystery author. Her first book, Back Roads, won the RITA award for best first book, as well as two National Reader’s Choice awards. She has released eight more critically acclaimed and award-winning novels. Susan lives in Indiana.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. By telling the story from Starla’s point of view, we get to look at the South in 1963 through the eyes of a child. Why do you think the author chose a child narrator? What do you think this adds to the story? How do you think the book would be different if it were told from the perspective of someone like Eula or Lulu?




Praise For Whistling Past the Graveyard

"WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD is a multi-layered saga that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. It has a cinematic quality that will make readers wish for a screen version. And you cane(TM)t say better than that."
-BookReporter.com

"A coming-of-age story as well as a luminous portrait of courage and the bonds of friendship. . . Susan Crandall tells young Starlae(TM)s story with pitch-perfect tone, evoking 1963 Mississippi and its struggles with a deft hand. I laughed and cried at Starlae(TM)s keen observances of life and family and the sometimes blurred edges of justice. Like Harper Leee(TM)s To Kill a Mockingbird and Kathryn Stockette(TM)s The Help, Whistling Past the Graveyard is destined to become a classic.e
-New York Times bestselling author Karen White

Ite(TM)s not easy to keep such a young narrator convincing for more than 300 pages... Readers will take to Starla and be caught up in her story.
-Mary Ellen Quinn

eoeCrandall delivers big with a coming-of-age story set in Mississippi in 1963 and narrated by a precocious 9-year-oldeYoung Starla is an endearing character whose spirited observations propel this nicely crafted story.e
-Kirkus

eoeStarlae(TM)s fiery independence makes her alikablenarrator.e

eoeCrandall threads historical detail throughout the book as the struggles of the civil rights movement are vividly portrayedeCrandalle(TM)s young narrator captures the readere(TM)s heart.e

eoeThis coming-of-age story is a must for fans of Kathryn Stockette(TM)s The Help or Harper Leee(TM)s classic To Kill a Mockingbird.e
-Working Mother Magazine

"Inspiring... told with honesty."
-Coffee and Crackers

eoeA luminous portrait of courage and the bonds of friendship, this coming of age story is as endearing and spirited as they come.e
-Shape Magazine

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