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There Grows a Crooked Tree [Paperback]

W. Bruce Wingo

Price: £10.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

13 Nov 2003
In 1959, two thirteen year old boys discover a secret that the town of Hole, Georgia, would rather remain buried. No one wants to talk about the decorated African American soldier lynched on a hot summer night in 1919. But the event cannot be ignored since several impressionable citizens of the town claim they have seen the "haint" of the murdered soldier dancing around the old live oak tree in the city park--always around midnight on Independence Day. The two boys decide they must discover whether the ghost is real or just the imagination of a guilt-ridden community.

Darrel Cannon and his new friend, Bumpy Foster, set out to find the truth. They soon ally themselves with an old black stonecutter who seems to know much more than he is willing to tell. Their journey through the humid summer leads to adventure and danger but also to enlightenment. In the aftermath of the flaming climax, Darrel Cannon discovers that the senseless violence of a bygone era can forever change a boy's world view.

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About the Author

Bruce Wingo has written extensively on Southern history, especially Georgia. He has been an educator for more than thirty-years. He and his wife, Joan, live in Rome, Georgia.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ!!!!!! 17 Dec 2003
By L. Morrow - Published on Amazon.com
This was such a great read. It grabs your attention from the get-go which is unique in it's own way. It's a very interesting combo of historical fiction (and nonfiction), mystery and humor which deals with deep southern racism and how communities attempt to overcome it. It allows you to see the South for what it was---a part of the USA that held misconceptions and did a whole lot of wrongdoing that a lot of people regret. It's important to see and understand that if one looks at the South in today's society, the present can't be blamed for the past.
One minute I was laughing and the next shedding a few tears. Bumpy is a wonderful character who I feel in love with immediately. It shows that someone can grow up in a culturally deprived area, be dirt poor, and still be one of the best people in the world. Bumpy had no reason to love life, but he did, and he makes you love life too. The novel had characters that I hated, characters that I loved, and a few characters that I wanted to hate but really couldn't b/c the plot allows you to see the origins of their personality. Ignorance and racism is a learned characteristic, which this book very delicately points out.
I would recommend this book to anyone---from the South, North, or the West. It not only gives you a deeper understanding of the horrors of the terrible crimes committed during the civil rights movement and its impact on society, but it lets you into the minds of those raised among it to let you see the difficulty of overcoming. All of this is done with a wonderful mystery--ghost type setting that keeps you intrigued throughout.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I could NOT put this book down!!! 2 Dec 2003
By Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
This is one of the best books I've ever read [and I'm a book nut, so that's really saying something! :) ]. I picked this book up one evening and literally ended up staying up all night long to finish it - I couldn't go to bed until I got to the ending. [I have several small children who get up at 5am, so this is not something that is normal for me to do].
This book is one of the best mysteries I've ever read - it is full of colorful, rich, engaging characters and the plot is just amazing. You will care passionately about these people from the very first chapters of the book. It is a "coming of age" story in some ways, but different from anything else I've ever read.
It is also a very important book because of the story it tells. Our history is not always good and glorious and it is good to remember the dead and understand our past - it helps us all build a better future. This book succeeds brilliantly in helping us do that without being preachy or heavy.
You will NOT regret buying this book! I can say without hesitation that I *love* it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction At Its Best 3 Dec 2003
By Another Guy From Atlanta - Published on Amazon.com
Luckily this book was a fast read that flowed very well because I could not put it down.
The story has it all: interesting characters that pull you in and make you want to know more about them; a slowly unfolding mystery that keeps you guessing; historical events perfectly woven into the fabric of the story that truly add to the realism.
I love any story that not only entertains me but also teaches me, causing me to step back in life and re-examine the world around me. Today, as Georgia struggles to step out of the shadows of the "Old South" and show the rest of the world the "New South", it is both timely and thought-provoking to walk through a tale that leads down the path of this transformation. This is a truly American tale that everyone from mystery lovers to history buffs will enjoy.
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