The Secret of Gumbo Grove

( 2 )

Overview

Raisin Stackhouse doesn't mind doing odd jobs for old Miss Effie Pfluggins, but when Miss Effie talks her into cleaning up the old church cemetery, she has no idea what trouble she might dig up. Mama says Miss Effie talks much too much, but Raisin loves hearing her remember the old days--especially when one of her stories puts Raisin smack in the middle of real-life mystery.

When Raisin is grounded for sneaking a night out, she not only misses her chance to compete in the Miss ...

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Overview

Raisin Stackhouse doesn't mind doing odd jobs for old Miss Effie Pfluggins, but when Miss Effie talks her into cleaning up the old church cemetery, she has no idea what trouble she might dig up. Mama says Miss Effie talks much too much, but Raisin loves hearing her remember the old days--especially when one of her stories puts Raisin smack in the middle of real-life mystery.

When Raisin is grounded for sneaking a night out, she not only misses her chance to compete in the Miss Ebony Pageant, but her efforts to uncover the famous person buried in the cemetery are brought to a half, too. Somehow Raisin's got to solve the big mystery no one in town wants to talk about. Will her discovery bring her glory, or is the past better off left buried?

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8 Eleven-year-old Raisin Stackhouse is the oldest of three sisters in a black family that lives in Gumbo Grove, S.C. She is intensely interested in finding out about history and heroes, but, when she questions why her class never studies about blacks ``who did stuff around here,'' her history teacher's response is that no blacks there had ever done anything worth talking about. Elderly Effie Pfluggins knows better than that, and she has proof. Raisin soon becomes precariously involved in the past by helping Miss Effie clean up the church's cemetery, where history virtually explodes into their lives. Before long, the entire community is enlightened by revelations from Raisin and Miss Effie. Subplots of peer and family relationships, including sibling rivalry, are masterfully blended to create a warm, humorous, and wonderful story centered around an intellectually curious and spirited black girl. An array of characters draws readers into and out of serious moments and humorous exchanges. The black speech may inconvenience readers unfamiliar with it, but truth requires it to be as it is presentedpoetic in its relevance. An echo of similarity with Virginia Hamilton's The House of Dies Drear (Macmillan, 1968) prevails through the portrayals of black family life and the searches for important historical connections. The outstanding differences are the warmth and humor of Gumbo Grove , which demonstrate the welcomed emergence of another talented and appealing black writer of books for children. Helen E. Williams, University of Maryland, College Park
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440227168
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/1988
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 199
  • Sales rank: 561,055
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.34 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2003

    The Famous Cemetery

    The Secret of Gumbo Grove was an OK book. One of the characters was Raisin; she wanted to know about the history of Gumbo Grove. Later in the book she found out that the founder of gumbo grove was also the mayor and he was black. Another character is Miss Effie Pfluggins; she is the church secretary at New Africa No. 1 Missionary and she knew a lot about the church history. Raisin stared to tape a lot of the stuff that Miss Effie told her, when she was helping her clean the cemetery. When she took Big Boy to Miss Effie¿s house Big Boy told almost everybody. When Raisin¿s parents found out that she had been taping stuff that she sad that was not always true she got in trouble. If you want to find out more about this book, you would have to read it your self. I rate this book with four out of five stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2000

    excellent book

    this is an excellent book, I love it It gives tons of deatail, sense of humor and real life situations GREAT!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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