FICTION

The Forgotten Girl

Scholastic. Nov. 2019. 256p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781338317244.
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Gr 3-7–Iris is a young African American girl who loves the snow and adventure. She had been warned by her parents not to play in the woods behind her house. One night, Iris gets her best friend Daniel to sneak out into the woods to play in the snow. They stumble upon an abandoned graveyard and Iris uncovers the name Avery Moore on one of the tombstones and decides to find out who she was. Avery begins to visit Iris in her dreams, asking for help to be remembered. Iris convinces Daniel to make segregated graveyards the focus of their group project at school. Their initial research turns up little evidence of Avery’s life or death. A conversation with Daniel’s grandmother Suga begins to point them in the right direction. Iris and Daniel will have to work together to make sure their voices are heard at school and that Avery Moore is remembered. This is a story about the ways African American communities have been and continue to be marginalized. America’s segregated past and the structures still in place to keep us separate are explored through Avery’s experiences then and Iris’s experiences now. The horror elements in the story are fantastically creepy and the author uses a mixture of urban legends and tall tales to create a sense of fear and foreboding.
VERDICT A solid title for public and school libraries in search of horror with roots in black history.

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