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In this sequel to Jennifer’s award-winning debut novel Fireflies in December, Jessilyn Lassiter and her best friend Gemma Teague have survived prejudice and heartache in their lifelong friendship, but the summer of 1936 threatens to tear them apart yet again. Gemma’s job with the wealthy Hadley family leads to a crush on their youngest son. But Jessilyn’s insistence that he’s no good and that no rich white man would ever truly fall for a poor black girl like Gemma puts them at odds. Tragedy strikes when Jessilyn’s cherished neighbor girl is hit by a car and killed. Things get worse when an elderly friend is falsely accused of the crime, and the only way to clear his name is to put her family’s livelihood in jeopardy. For Jessilyn, this is a choice too hard to bear and she wonders where to turn for answers, especially when an angry mob threatens vigilante justice. Jennifer’s third book, Catching Moondrops, releases in Fall 2010.

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I thought the first book, Catching Fireflies, was amazing. This one is just as good, if not better, than the first. The way the author developed the characters throughout this book and the first one is brilliant. I can't wait to read the next one in this series. I highly recommend this book!

The civil rights setting of this entire series is eye-opening, the characters are endearing, the plot is gripping, and there is a bit of romance--but you'll have to read the final book in the series to get the most of that. This book DOES stand alone but I still recommend you read them all. Cottonwood Whispers has a prominent theme of friendship and overcoming prejudice and would be the perfect thing for middle schoolers or high schoolers studying the civil rights movement! Highly recommend!

This was an exciting, entertaining foll up to Jennifer's first book. The characters are just as developed and I enjoyed even more than in the first book because I already knew them. I highly recommend this book.