The Parker Inheritance

Arthur A Levine / Scholastic, March 27, 2018

When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.

So with the help of Brandon Jones, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?

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2019 Coretta Scott King Honor Book

2019 Odyssey Audiobook Honor

2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book (Fiction and Poetry)

Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018

School Library Journal Best Book of 2018

2018 Horn Book Fanfare Selection

NPR Best Book of 2018

Boston Globe Best Children’s Books of 2018

2018 Parents Magazine “Best Chapter Book to Read With Your Kid”

New York Public Library “Top Ten” Best Books for Kids of 2018

Chicago Public Library Best Books for Kids of 2018

BookPage Best Books of 2018

A Junior Library Guild Spring 2018 Selection

2019 Texas Library Association Lone Star List Selection

2019 Texas Library Association Spirit of Texas Selection

A 2018-2019 Project LIT Book Club Selection

A 2018-2019 North Carolina Children’s Book Award Nominee

 “A must-purchase.” — School Library Journal, starred review

 “A candid and powerful reckoning of history.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 “Johnson’s narrative revels in its puzzle-story elements.” — Horn Book, starred review

 “A compelling mystery and a powerful commentary on identity, passing, and sacrifice.”  — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“Powerful…. Johnson writes about the long shadows of the past with such ambition that any reader with a taste for mystery will appreciate the puzzle Candice and Brandon must solve.” The New York Times Book Review

“A clever puzzle, a hidden treasure, and a couple of kids you’ll wish were your friends…Dive in!” — Sara Pennypacker, author of Pax

“Varian Johnson delivers once again with this rewarding mix of relevant history and challenging mystery!” — Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor-winning author of Hattie Big Sky

The Parker Inheritance is a remarkable and rich book, one that kept me reading late into the night, absorbed and captivated. Fresh, original, timely, it is an outstanding read.”  — Monica Edinger, educator and author of Africa Is My Home

“Combining a delightful, twisty puzzle box mystery that spans generations and a relatable, contemporary story of kids figuring out who they are THE PARKER INHERITANCE is not only fun to read but almost impossible to put down. This is one of the can’t miss books of 2018 and I can’t wait for teachers, librarians, and most of all kid readers to fall love with it.”  — Angie Manfredi, Head of Youth Services, Los Alamos County Library System

“Love this book! It is the perfect combination of historical and contemporary with the connections between them clearly delineated.” — Sara Hines, Eight Cousins Bookshop

“Absorbing… [and] weaves together a suspenseful, honest story.” — Angela Maria Spring, Duende District Bookstore

 “Realistic and complex.” — School Library Connection

“A dazzling and emotional read that deals with serious topics such as bullying, racism, and divorce.” — Booklist

“A gripping mystery.” — Publishers Weekly

“With a nod to The Westing Game, Varian Johnson has penned a smart mystery that deftly explores the history of racial segregation in the South, modern-day discrimination, friendship, love and bullying….Beautifully written, this complex story will captivate an adult audience as well.” — BookPage

“The Parker Inheritance is a clever puzzle wrapped in an urgent and compassionate novel that will capture readers from the first chapter.” — Shelf Awareness