Ted Dunagan’s youth fiction trilogy, suggests one reviewer, is a cross between “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Huckleberry Finn,” “a great read with memorable characters that also tells volumes about the small-town South of the past.”
On Thursday at 7 p.m., the two-time Georgia Author of the Year will take his Statesboro Library audience adventuring in the 1948 segregated Alabama of 12-year-old best friends Ted, who is white, and Poudlam, who is black. This Black History Month Meet the Author event, sponsored by Friends of the Library, promises to engage adults as much as children.
In “A Yellow Watermelon,” the first in Dunagan’s trilogy, Ted and Poudlum meet where their families’ cotton fields come together and join forces to save Poudlam’s family farm and Ted’s father’s job at the mill.
The book was named to the Georgia Center for the Book’s List of 25 Books Every Young Georgian Should Read.
“It’s a fine, well-told tale of friendship between two smart, likable boys,” said Kirkus Reviews, “…a memorable, generous-hearted tale.”
In Dunagan’s second book, “Secret of the Satilfa,” the boys’ fishing trip turns to trouble when they’re ambushed by fugitive bank robbers, escape and go searching for the robbers’ loot. The friends stumble onto a Ku Klux Klan meeting in “Trouble on the Tombigbee” and test their wits with an escape down the Tombigbee River. Kirkus Reviews praises the newest book for maintaining “a light, adventurous tone even as it deals with such difficult issues as segregation, hate crimes and slavery.”
The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception and book signing with the author at the Statesboro Library.
Children must be accompanied by a parent.