by Karen Hesse

Scholastic Paperbacks
March 2003

Ages 11 – 18 . Grades 6 – 12

Library of Congress: 00054139

Lexile measure: NP

DRA: 70

Guided Reading: Z



Leanora Sutter. Esther Hirsh. Merlin Van Tornhout. Johnny Reeves . . .

These characters are among the unforgettable cast inhabiting a small Vermont town in 1924. A town that turns against its own when the Ku Klux Klan moves in. No one is safe, especially the two youngest, twelve-year-old Leanora, an African-American girl, and six-year-old Esther, who is Jewish.

In this story of a community on the brink of disaster, told through the haunting and impassioned voices of its inhabitants, Newbery Award winner Karen Hesse takes readers into the hearts and minds of those who bear witness.
Karen Hesse

Karen Hesse is the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of many books for children. Her titles include Witness, The Cats in Krasinski Square, and the Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust, among many others. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two teenaged daughters.


  • “This lyrical novel powerfully records waves of change and offers insightful glimpses into the hearts of victims, their friends and their enemies.” – Publishers Weekly

    “Remarkable and powerful . . . a thoughtful look at people and their capacity for love and hate..” – School Library Journal

    "Add this to the Holocaust curriculum, not because every racial incident means genocide, but because the book will spark discussion about how such a thing can happen even now." Booklist, starred review
    "What Copeland created with music, and Hopper created with paint, Hesse deftly and unerringly creates with words." -- Kirkus Reviews


Paperback / softback

Perfect-bound Paperback

ISBN: 9780439272001

176pp. | 5-¼ x 7-⅝