Title: The Parker Inheritance
Author: Varian Johnson
Setting: South Carolina, spans 1914-present day
Recommended age: Middle Grade
What it’s about…
The Parker Inheritance is a story about solving today’s mysteries to uncover the secrets of the past. Candice is pretty sure she’s in for a dull time when her mom says they’re spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina. But when she discovers an old letter in an attic, she becomes entrenched in a tantalizing mystery that reaches decades back into the past. The mystery itself is enough to completely hook Candice and her new friend Brandon, but that’s not all. A massive fortune awaits whoever solves the puzzle… if they can figure it out in time.
My hot take…
This is a book for mystery lovers. More Westing Game than Sherlock Holmes, The Parker Inheritance weaves hard history through riddles and puzzles that span across multiple generations. In fact, this book makes a point of connecting the past to the present… or rather, the present to the past. Make no mistake, this book has a riveting story, compelling characters, and makes excellent use of parallel plot lines. But it also does some pretty important work of demonstrating how we are connected to past events, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Readers today will likely feel compelled to dig through all those boxes in attics and basement in search of lost stories, and maybe even ask their parents and grandparents some tough questions.
You might like this book if you enjoy: kid sleuths, dusty attics, and midnight tennis matches