Forgotten Girl
by Brown, India Hill






When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned black cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery getthe recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface-only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Iris will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.





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.





Iris often has trouble differentiating between reality and her nightmares. This is especially true when the nightmares become so real that she can literally feel the goosebumps raise on her skin. One night she realizes her dreams might be more than what they seem when she wakes to her window blown wide open and the distant shadow of a young girl calling out to her from the woods by her house. Inspired by her nightmare, Iris sets out to learn the origin of the shadowed girl and learns that the woods she plays in were once a segregated cemetery for Black citizens. In Brown's debut, she sets the stage for a promising writing career as she crafts strong middle-grade characters who will undoubtedly be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The pacing of the plot will surely send a chill through the readers' spines as they follow Iris and her journey with the paranormal. Brown takes on the daunting task of conveying fright and the growing realization of marginalization through child's voices with ease in this eerie read. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





Two friends stumble upon an abandoned cemetery in the woods behind their houses. Best friends Iris and Daniel, both African American, are having a hard year. At school, Iris is struggling to get the recognition she craves as captain of the step team, and at home, her 4-year-old sister steals their parents' attention. Daniel's father is recently deceased, and he feels the need to be extra careful so his mom and grandmother don't experience loss again. Brown's portrayals of Iris' angst and Daniel's grief are deftly written and accessible for readers. Despite their challenges, the friends know they can count on each other, so when Iris begs Daniel to come outside in the middle of the night to experience the first snow, he ignores his grandmother's superstitious warning about the spirits of the snow who prey on children and joins her. After a snowball fight in the woods, Iris makes a snow angel and realizes she is actually lying on top of a grave. The headstone reveals that the grave's occupant is a girl named Avery, who was 12, just like them. After that fir st night, Avery haunts Iris, compelling Iris to return to her and right the wrongs that left her in limbo. The book struggles with pacing, but the historical information about school desegregation, segregated cemeteries, and the Great Migration are welcome, unique additions. A ghostly tale with a historical twist. (Paranormal adventure. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





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, that's..."



Iris stared down at the crumbling stone, a gust of cold air pushing past her, forcing her to speak.



"A grave."






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