NewSouth Books is pleased to announce that Ted Dunagan’s novel A Yellow Watermelon has been named one of the 25 Books Every Young Georgian Should Read.
The Georgia Center for the Book compiled this inaugural list of titles for young readers; they have produced a list of 25 Books Every Georgian Should Read since 2002.
The names of the young adult titles were revealed at a private party on August 26 at the Parkers on Ponce restaurant in Decatur, Georgia. A public announcement to be followed by a book signing will take place Saturday, August 28 in Decatur’s Historic Square from 10:00 am to noon.
“The goal of the Georgia Center For The Book is most laudable,” said Dunagan, “and I’m honored that my work is part of their initial offering.”
William Starr, director of the Georgia Center for the Books, noted that “this new list was created to help recognize some of Georgia’s outstanding authors of books for young readers, and to serve as a way of connecting those writers with readers all over the state, and beyond. Ted Dunagan’s book A Yellow Watermelon is an obvious choice for the list because it carries a strong, compelling moral message and conveys it with a wonderful storyteller’s artistry.”
In the best Southern literary tradition, A Yellow Watermelon explores poverty and racial segregation through the eyes of an innocent boy. In rural south Alabama in 1948, whites picked on one side of the cotton field and blacks on the other. Where the fields meet, twelve-year-old Ted meets Poudlum, a black boy his own age, who teaches him how to endure the hard work while they bond and go on to integrate the field. The white boy and the black boy encounter danger and intrigue while executing a plan to save Poudlum’s family from a corrupt businessman, and discover a great, yet simple, secret of enlightenment.
A Yellow Watermelon has been compared to the works of Mark Twain and Harper Lee. Kirkus Reviews called it “a memorable, generous-hearted tale.” Ted Dunagan was named Georgia Author of the Year in the young adult category for Yellow Watermelon. NewSouth’s Junebug Books imprint recently published the sequel, Secret of the Satilfa.
Ted Dunagan has traveled across the South speaking to book lovers of all ages about the writing process and the themes of his novels. He says his visits to Southern schools and libraries will be even more meaningful now that he knows he’s speaking about a book which has been so strongly recommended for young readers.