Young Mary Elouise is unhappy about who she is, until two African storytellers come to her school and help her to appreciate the value of her heritage. Eleanora E. Tate shares the richness of the contemporary African American experience with themes that speak to young readers of every color: self-acceptance, a healthy pride, and the importance of family and of community.
Eleven-year-old Raisin enjoys doing odd jobs for old Ms. Effie Pfluggins. Ms. Effie is the church secretary, and she has fascinating stories to tell about the African American history and people of Gumbo Grove. When old Miss Pfluggins asks her to help clean up the church cemetery, Raisin discovers a real-life mystery that no one wants to talk about. There’s a famous person buried in a forgotten plot, but the townsfolk seem to think that the past is better left buried. Now Raisin’s parents are watching her every move and they don’t want her nosing around in the cemetery anymore.