Set in rural Alabama in 1972, this tale follows 11-year-old Benjamin Putter as he struggles to fulfill his father’s final wish.
Though they clearly loved each other, Ben and his father shared a strained relationship, which is only one of the reasons Ben is shocked to hear a voice coming from his father’s urn. He’s even more surprised to learn that his father will find peace in the afterlife only if Ben scatters his ashes on the 18th hole of the famed Augusta National golf course. Compelled to help, Ben finds a traveling partner in a spunky, secretive girl named Noni who has reasons of her own for wanting to get to Augusta. Throughout the eventful journey, Ben has some important, often heartbreaking, conversations with his father that help him to better understand both his father and himself. In addition to figuring out who he is as a son, Ben, who is white, also reflects on his role as friend, working out the guilt he feels over not defending his “colored” friend May from the racial harassment she has been suffering at the newly integrated school they attend together.
A whimsical, heartwarming, multilayered story about finding grace enough to accept the flaws in those we love and courage enough to act from our most deeply held beliefs. (Historical fiction. 9-12)