Twelve-year-old Georgia Johnson is sure she can win the “Spirit of Detroit Poetry Contest,” judged by her idol Gwendolyn Brooks. After moving from her beloved Detroit neighborhood to an unfamiliar suburb, Georgia lies so she won’t be disqualified from the contest, for Detroit residents only. With her older brother in Vietnam, and her family worried about when—or if—he’ll make it back home, Georgia tries to settle into her new life. But she misses her best friend Ceci, the cracks in the sidewalk that used to catch her skates, and the hide and seek tree. She wonders if she’ll ever make new friends or feel like she belongs.


To make matters worse, her new home is in a mostly white suburban neighborhood and her family is one of the first African American families to move in. Georgia must find a way to intercept the contest finalist announcement sent to Aunt Birdie’s mailbox before her family uncovers her deception. During that summer, Georgia discovers her own resilience in the face of upheaval and the power of truth when her lies ring hollow.

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All content @2020 by Lisa Sukenic