Through the Door to Danger
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A Mystery with a Civil Rights Focus
A week before classes start, twelve-year-old Craig wanders the empty, echoing halls of historic Shady River School where his mother teaches. Craig is glad to stumble upon a new friend, a young African-American girl named Luceille, dressed in peculiar, old-fashioned clothes. Discovering that Luceille can vanish as quickly as she appears, Craig follows her through the door of the custodian’s closet and into the year 1968, the first year black and white students attended classes together. Not everyone is happy about desegregation, and Craig is disturbed by the prejudice he witnesses on his visit to the past. In the present, Craig smells smoke where there is no fire and burns his hand on a doorknob that suddenly turns red hot. Unearthing secrets someone at Shady River has carefully buried, Craig plunges back in time and into danger, desperate to prevent a tragic death. Trapped with Luceille in the heat and smoke of the burning school, Craig discovers that the past is more difficult to change than he ever imagined.