by Varian Johnson
Varian Johnson's The Parker Inheritance is a masterpiece of a middle grade novel wrapping mystery, history, friendship, and family into one seamless narrative. Beginning with a simple premise - a summer, two friends, and the treasure hunt of a lifetime - Johnson brings us on an incredible journey through history to reveal that nothing is ever as simple as it appears.
The story begins when Candice, stuck in Lambert, South Carolina for the summer, discovers a letter in her grandmother's attic. Inside is a treasure hunt, and an allusion to a great injustice in Lambert's history from decades past. Candice and her new friend, Brandon, follow clues across town and through time to uncover the mystery and find the promised treasure. Their story is told alongside alternating chapters, color-coded within the book, that take place in the past. As they delve deeper, Candice and Brandon discover the history of racial injustice in Lambert, and how the consequences of those injustices echo forward into the modern day, while learning about themselves, each other, and how our preconceptions can stop us from understanding what is true.
Fans of The Westing Game will love The Parker Inheritance, which won the Coretta Scott King Honor award and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor award. Johnson continues to write amazing books that readers of all ages love, including The Great Greene Heist, Twins, and Playing The Cards You're Dealt, coming October 5th!
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.