Dewey Turner is your ordinary boy during 1966-1967, except that he is too short, too quiet, too annoying, and continuously confused. Down Sand Mountain follows Dewey during seventh grade, which is also his first year of high school in his town. He must navigate changing relationships between himself and his family, Darla Turkel, and the kids at school. Some of the changes Dewey is hoping for and others are completely unexpected. As if his own life wasn't confusing enough, Dewey and his family are navigating the awkward situation between whites and blacks in their Florida town.
Contained within the book is the beginning sparks of the civil rights movement in this small town. There is no major action, just the slow awakening of some forward thinking women and children. It would probably appeal more to boys due to the male main character and many thoughts reflective of a coming of age novel. It felt a little random to me, as if there was no real direction, but would probably be more attractive to students at that point in their lives.