"This ghost story gave me chill after chill. It will haunt you." R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps
"Do you know what it feels like to be forgotten?"
On a cold winter night, Iris and her best friend, Daniel, sneak into a clearing in the woods to play in the freshly fallen snow. There, Iris carefully makes a perfect snow angel only to find the crumbling gravestone of a young girl, Avery Moore, right beneath her.
Immediately, strange things start to happen to Iris: She begins having vivid nightmares. She wakes up to find her bedroom window wide open, letting in the snow. She thinks she sees the shadow of a girl lurking in the woods. And she feels the pull of the abandoned grave, calling her back to the clearing...
Obsessed with figuring out what's going on, Iris and Daniel start to research the area for a school project. They discover that Avery's grave is actually part of a neglected and forgotten Black cemetery, dating back to a time when White and Black people were kept separate in life and in death. As Iris and Daniel learn more about their town's past, they become determined to restore Avery's grave and finally have proper respect paid to Avery and the others buried there.
But they have awakened a jealous and demanding ghost, one that's not satisfied with their plans for getting recognition. One that is searching for a best friend forever no matter what the cost.
The Forgotten Girl is both a spooky original ghost story and a timely and important storyline about reclaiming an abandoned segregated cemetery.
"A harrowing yet empowering tale reminding us that the past is connected to the present, that every place and every person has a story, and that those stories deserve to be told." Renée Watson, New York Times bestselling author of Piecing Me Together
About the Author
India Hill Brown is a southern belle who recently moved back down south to North Carolina after living in NYC and working at HBO. Her day job is in social media, and her passion is writing. Her freelance work has been published in Teen Vogue, Essence, Sesi Mag, and The Everygirl. Visit her at booksandbighair.com or on Twitter at @booksandbighair.
Read an Excerpt
Their parents warned them not to go into the woods by themselves. And Suga warned them twice as much about the spirits of the snow. How they preyed on children who wandered out in the snowy darkness alone.
But in that little clearing, there was a fresh, untouched blanket of snow, calling her farther into the woods, just before that impenetrable wall of darkness.
She pointed a purple-gloved finger. "Let's go over there."
Daniel cleared his throat. "Iris, we can’t go over there. We shouldn't even be out here."
She rolled her eyes.
"It'll just be for a second. I promise." She added, when he frowned at her, "Please? Come on."
He nodded slowly. Iris pulled him farther, past the edge of the big clearing, through the next line of trees, to the smaller one. The darkness seemed so solid as it surrounded them, it felt like they were in a cave. All around her, Iris could only see trees. As if they’d entered another world.
The trees seemed to stand in anticipation under the pink-and-black snowy sky. Watching, waiting, so still as the snow touched the branches. She shivered, probably because of the cold. She lay down slowly, the cold pressing closer against her back than it had before. She moved her arms and legs, making the angel, ignoring a strange feeling that she was slowly sinking into the snow…
Daniel reached out his hand and pulled her up. Iris shook the feeling off and smiled. She was proud of her work. "I've never made a snow angel this good!" She looked at Daniel to agree, but he was leaning over, frowning at her angel.
"What's that?" he asked, pointing at it. "Look."
She peered more closely at the angel, the way her dress flared around her feet, her arms frozen in midair as if she’d finally gotten their attention.
There was something buried, just barely, under the snow angel's chest, where her heart would be. It glistened in the moonlight. They bent over and worked together to uncover it.
Their hands froze in midair, mimicking the angels'. Daniel gasped.
Iris stared down at the crumbling stone, a gust of cold air pushing past her, forcing her to speak.