Lots of families have secrets. Little-Known Fact: My family has an antebellum house with a locked wing—and I’ve got a secret of my own.
I thought getting kicked out of the Gifted & Talented program—or not being “pegged,” as Mama said—was the worst thing that could happen to me. W-r-o-n-g, wrong.
I arrived in Tweedle, Georgia, to spend the summer with Granny and Gramps, only to find no sign of them. When they finally showed up, Cousin Isaac was there too, with his trumpet in hand, and I found myself having to pretend to be thrilled about watching my musical family rehearse for the town’s Anniversary Spectacular. It was h-a-r-d, hard. Meanwhile, I, Maebelle T.-for-No-Talent Earl, set out to win a blue ribbon with an old family recipe.
But what was harder and even more wrong than any of that was breaking into the locked wing of my grandparents’ house, trying to learn the Truth with a capital T about Josiah T. Eberlee, my long-gone-but-not-forgotten relation. To succeed, I couldn’t be a solo act. I’d need my new friends, a basset hound named Cotton, the strength of my entire family, and a little help from a secret code.
With grace and humor and a heaping helping of little-known facts, Bethany Hegedus incorporates the passions of the North and the South and bridges the past and the present in this story about one summer in the life of a sassy Southern girl and her trumpet-playing adopted Northern cousin.
Reviews & Acknowledgements
“This novel does an excellent job exploring the dynamics of blended families and issues of race in a small town while sensitively addressing common adolescent themes of growing up, fitting in, and feeling special…the plot moves along well and the characters Maebelle and Isaak are especially charming.” —Publishers Weekly
“The somber acknowledgment of the town’s slave-holding past is contrasted with a present in which racism and bigotry are not unknown, but there are no easy villains, and Maebelle’s is not the only family where black and white come together. Lots of elements here, and most fit together smoothly and treat the nicely drawn cast of characters with depth and dimension.” —Kirkus Reviews