The age old issues of racism and slavery along with the current sensitivity to bullying are all tough topics for kids. Rarely are they handled so well with such sensitivity as they are in this novel.
The Secret Of The Lonely Grave
By Albert A. Bell, Jr.
Ingalls Publishing Group
ISBN # 978-1-932158-79-3
Large Trade Paperback
The story opens in a small town in Western Kentucky where Steve and Kendra can hardly wait for school to be out for the summer in another week. Everyday as they walk up and down a hill on the way to the school bus, they pass an old cemetery. Kendra often stops at the grave marker for her sister Moniqa. They also stop and look at a grave for a child that is set far away from all the others. The two middle school aged children have nicknamed it “the lonely grave.” A grave that someone has suddenly started placing fresh flowers on with no explanation.
As the school year ends, the kids realize that someone is placing the flowers on the grave in a regular cycle. They hatch a plan to find out who is doing it and why. Catching the person who is placing the flowers is relatively easy. The real question then becomes why is the grave so far away from the others?
What follows is an entertaining story written primarily for young teens that deals tactfully with divorce and bullying as well as slavery, racism and the legacy of this nation’s history. Steve, who is white, and Kendra, who is African-American, are forced to confront what their ancestors may have done long before they were born as well as their relationship with each other in today’s America. Both are also forced to deal with bullying and why some children bully. The result is an entertaining read that delves deep into the past while teaching compassion and caring.
Kevin R. Tipple Â© 2009