A YELLOW WATERMELON by Ted Dunagan

A YELLOW WATERMELON

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Twelve-year-old Ted Dillon is an innocent white boy in rural Alabama in 1948, but his new friendships with a black boy named Poudlum Robinson and an escaped black convict named Jake introduce him to a world where greed and racism intersect. Ted “reverse integrates” the cotton field so he can work next to Poudlum, and he finds a way to rob evil Old Man Cliff Creel in order to finance Jake’s passage to California and pay off the Robinsons’ delinquent property taxes. He likes this new role of latter-day Robin Hood, once Jake explains to him who Robin Hood was. It’s a fine, well-told tale of friendship between two smart, likable boys—one white, one black. In a scene akin to Deborah Wiles’s Freedom Summer (2001), anticipating the Civil Rights movement, Ted tells Poudlum, “And someday you gonna be able to walk in that drug store, sit down and have yourself some ice cream. You know what else, one day we’ll be able to go to school together, too.” A memorable, generous-hearted tale. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58838-197-2
Page count: 256pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2007