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Prince Edward by Dennis McFarland
To avoid the Supreme Court's school desegregation order in 1959, the white citizens of Prince Edward County, Virginia decided to close their public schools and open private academies for their children. Against this historical background, Dennis McFarland sets his novel Prince Edward, with the adult Benjamin Rome recounting that August when he was 10. Ben's family lived on his grandfather's chicken farm. His grandfather, Daddy Cary, was a brutal racist and sexual predator, and his father helped loot the equipment from the schools for the new academies. Ben's best friend was a black boy with whom he gathers eggs and swims in the creek. Ben is forced to become aware of the racism and shortcomings of the adults in his world as the rest of the town turns against his best friend and their families, leading to an act that shatters Ben's world. Prince Edward has received positive reviews with BookPage calling it a "sensitive and compelling novel."