To Kill a Mockingbird meets One Crazy Summer in this powerful, bittersweet debut about one girl's journey to reconnect with her mother and learn the truth about her father in the tumultuous times of the Jim Crow South.
"Timely, captivating, and lovely. So glad this book is in the world." --Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming
In the small town of Alcolu, South Carolina, in 1944, 12-year-old Ella spends her days fishing and running around with her best friend Henry and cousin Myrna. But life is not always so sunny for Ella, who gets bullied for her light skin tone, and whose mother is away pursuing a jazz singer dream in Boston.
So Ella is ecstatic when her mother invites her to visit for Christmas. Little does she expect the truths she will discover about her mother, the father she never knew and her family's most unlikely history.
And after a life-changing month, she returns South and is shocked by the news that her schoolmate George has been arrested for the murder of two local white girls.
Bittersweet and eye-opening, How High the Moon is a timeless novel about a girl finding herself in a world all but determined to hold her down.
About the Author
Karyn Parsons is best known for her role as Will Smith's ditsy cousin Hilary Banks on NBC's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After leaving acting behind, Karyn has gone on to found and produce Sweet Blackberry, an award-winning series of children's animated films, to share stories about unsung black heroes in history, featuring narration from stars such as Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah, and Chris Rock. It's been screened on HBO and Netflix, and enjoyed by schools and libraries across the country. How High the Moon is Karyn's self-authored debut novel.
* "As compelling as Brown Girl Dreaming, as character-driven as One Crazy Summer, and as historically illuminating as Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry. A captivating novel that sheds new light on black childhood."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"....wonderful voices and character interactions, and an evocative cover will draw readers."—Booklist
"...a welcome addition to middle school readers."—School Library Connection
"....historical fiction fans may nonetheless appreciate this look at racial tensions in both the South and the North in the World War II era."—BCCB
"How High the Moon is at once historical and timely, captivating, and lovely. In Karyn Parsons brilliant hands, I feel like I've traveled a lifetime into the heartbreaking and beautiful south of the 1940s, spent time with Ella, Myrna and Henry and the many other amazing people I've met in this book, then landed back here in the present day having left a part of me behind. So glad this book is in the world."—Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming
"In How High the Moon, Karyn Parson brings the same verve, timing, and emotive brilliance that she brought to the screen. Equal parts mystery, historical fiction, and coming-of-age, this is a story full of warmth and light and drama that will captivate you. That will haunt you. And that will ultimately enlighten you."—Kwame Alexander, author of The Crossover
"A talented, engaging new voice. A brave, compassionate, and lovable heroine."—Jewell Parker Rhodes, author of Ghost Boys
"Parson's sparkling debut grabs us by the heart and leads us by the hand into a painful past filled with revelations, hope, and homecoming. Absolutely Glorious!"—Rita Williams Garcia, author of One Crazy Summer
"A tender and compelling story about loving and belonging. Parsons masterfully takes us on a journey where the political is personal, where the most heartbreaking moments are also profound and beautiful. Ella is a character readers will care about, cry with, and cheer for. How High the Moon is a stunning debut that promises to have readers wanting more and more from Parsons."—Renee Watson, author of Piecing Me Together
"A timeless tale that uncovers family secrets and hidden histories for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Masterfully done!"—Tami Charles, author of Like Vanessa
"A stirring, emotionally resonant debut, How High the Moon opens a fresh and sensitive window on a terrifying time, even as it introduces us to a lovable new heroine--Ella Louise!"— Tony Abbott, author of Firegirl and The Great Jeff.