Whistling Past the Graveyard
By Susan Crandall
Published: 7/2/13 by Gallery books
4 out of 5 stars
Whistling Past the Graveyard introduces us to a fiery and precocious 9 year old named Starla. When Starla decides to run away from home to avoid getting into trouble with her Mamie, she embarks on a wild adventure that will change her little life forever. Starla hitches a ride with a colored woman named Eula who is traveling with a white newborn baby. Their road trip through the South in the 1960s teaches them both important lessons about life, love and family.
This is a sweet story, and I really enjoyed reading it. It has been compared to both The Help and To Kill a Mockingbird. That is probably a decent comparison, but I think Whistling Past the Graveyard lacks the depth of those novels. Still, it is worth your time to read; it is a crowd-pleasing type of novel.
Starla is a fun narrator, and it is interesting to hear her perceptions about the world (and racial prejudices) around her. Because the book is told from her perspective, the tone is fairly simplistic but it works. While this wasn't my favorite book of the year, it is a great read. I think most everyone would enjoy reading Starla's story.