Crossing Jordan by Adrian Fogelin, paperback, 160 pages, Peachtree Jr (2002), ISBN: 1561452815
In "Crossing Jordan" author Adrian Fogelin addresses the complex issues of bigotry and tolerance with sensitivity and intelligence. The book is a moving, coming-of-age story of a young white girl who overcomes family prejudice and cultural differences when she befriends a black girl in a small working-class town. Twelve-year-old Cassie narrates the dramatic events that unfold when Jemmie, an African-American girl, and her family move in next door. Despite their parents' deeply held prejudice against each other's family – exemplified by the fence Cassie's father builds between their two houses – the girls find they share more similarities than differences. Mutual interests in running and reading draw them together, and their wariness of each other disappears. But when their parents find out about the burgeoning friendship, each girl is forbidden to see the other. A family crisis and celebration provide opportunities for the families to reach an understanding. Readers will find her story of how two adolescent girls, through their own example, teach racial tolerance to the adults in a small Florida town powerful and compelling. This is Fogelin's first book for children. "I was moved to write this story of prejudice after an incident in my own neighborhood. I believe strongly in the message of this book". Fogelin is also a librarian and is a fiction reader for International Quarterly. She lives with her family in Tallahassee (USA/Florida).