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The Parker Inheritance

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,332 ratings  ·  595 reviews
The letter waits in a book, in a box, in an attic, in an old house in Lambert, South Carolina. It's waiting for Candice Miller.

When Candice finds the letter, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, after all, who left Lambert in a cloud of shame. But the letter describes a young woman named Siobhan Washington. An injustice that happened decad
Hardcover, 331 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,332 ratings  ·  595 reviews

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The other day I was asked to come up with ten children’s book equivalents to Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen (which, should anybody ask you, is not for kids). To do this, I wanted to include a range of different kinds of books at different ages. Picture books and nonfiction titles. Early chapter books and poetry. And, of course, socially conscious middle grade novels (books for kids between the ages of 9-12). But as it turns out, books for young people that take a long hard look at systematic op ...more
I loved so many things about this book--the characters, the history, and the mystery. This would be a fabulous read aloud or a jumping off place for conversations about racism, family dynamics, and friendship.
Jordan Henrichs
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
What I liked:
- Very ambitious story; Overall, I liked the structure, mixing in flashback point of views to fill in the gaps of the mystery
- While not near as refined or effective as either, this reminded me more of Holes than The Westing Game (either way, good books to be compared to)
- Reggie and Siobhan's relationship was emotionally effective
- Big Dub was a fantastic anti-hero (adult Reggie too, was authentically flawed)
- Candice and Brandon's relationship was sweet
- Milo (the bully) was very
Cassie Thomas
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, middle-grade
What a fantastic story of friendship, differences, struggles, and love - with a dash of adventure, mystery, and history. I was so inspired by so many little comments throughout that it makes me want to do more, to inspire others to do better out there in the world.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
I've read a lot of opinions on this already from the Newbery goodreads group, so I'll weigh in on what I've already heard.

1. There are too many issues for one book: I was OK with this. Except for one part at the very end. They all seemed realistic for a kid to be experiencing and I wasn't overwhelmed.

2. The book is too long: Yeah, a little bit.

3. The mystery wasn't strong: I agree with this. It was a little confusing and there was much luck involved. I was confused when Candi and Brandon seemed
Paula Chase
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What makes this book so good are the nuances. It's a mystery and while trying to solve it, the young protags deal with bullying, bigotry and the weight of the past. One of my favorite elements of the story was the way it revolved between past and present. It was like having a YA folded into a MG novel and I was as invested in the story arc of the past as I was in the story arc of the present. The racism is shown in its true brutal form and we're left helpless to watch the young characters proces ...more
3.5 stars. Well-written, but it's no Westing Game. The historical flashbacks dominated, and that story was interesting but there were so many characters to keep track of and I got bogged down. It felt really long--I thought it must be about over and then realized I was only at 50%! I wanted more of the mystery, particularly since the historical parts dealt with heavy themes. Which is fine, but I like to know that's what a book is about going in. So I felt a little tricked into reading something ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely one of my favorite middle grade reads of 2018. Rich in detail and content, wonderfully written, and highly engaging. ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Both a mystery in the vein of The Westing Game (which is cited in the book) and a look at race relations past and present, this is an excellent and vital book. I don't really want to spoil any piece of the puzzle, so just let me say that there is a reason why this book has gotten such good reviews, and so many stars. Varian is a wonderful writer, but this is really a tour-de-force.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Candice and her author mom move to her late grandmother's home in Lambert, South Carolina while their Atlanta home is being remodeled to put on the market due to her parents' divorce. Candice planned to spend time with her friends that summer, but now she will be alone much of the time as her mom writes. Candice' grandmother served as Lambert's city manager until a letter presenting a puzzle and an opportunity to help Lambert's economy caused her to dig up the tennis courts. She resigned due to ...more
Joyce Yattoni
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are reading this review you need to run to the closest library, Target or keyboard and get this book now. ❤❤❤❤ this book and I know quite a few teachers who will love it too. I am always looking for good mysteries for students who like that type of story. This book fits the bill. Not only does it have mystery, but it also has a puzzle that the reader is attempting to solve along with the character. Moreover, it is plush with a lot of history. The story flashes back to a time during the mi ...more
Aj Sterkel
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Likes: Well, this is a compelling mystery. I was flipping pages frantically near the end. I had to know if the kids would find the treasure!

The mystery kept me guessing. I never predicted where the clues would lead. Brandon and Candice are the perfect characters to star in this story because they’re an unstoppable team. They want to prove that the treasure is real and that Candice’s grandmother wasn’t a delusional person who dug up a beloved tennis court for no reason. The kids face constant obs
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was so good.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
"Just because you don't see the path doesn't mean it's not there."

What an incredible book! In my view this is totally for adults as well. The way the story weaves in interludes from the past with the present was my favorite thing about it, and in doing so it delves deeply into history, racism and oppression, love, friendship, legacy, sexual orientation, and more. This book lets people be complicated and almost never one-note and has a suspenseful mystery at its heart.

An expertly written page-tu
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best middle grade books I've read in years. Fast-paced, fascinating, significant while staying fun. I want to read it all over again!
My favorite type of book may begin on summer vacation, small town, and a mystery. In a perfect world all kids would have a puzzly break from school which allows them to run rampant through a town with parks and ice cream shops. PARKER INHERITANCE is this type of story. I also love when far flung narratives make their way to a central spot in clever and unexpected ways. PI goes for this too, although it does feel more manipulative than organic.

There is a lot going on here (note the extensive tag
Abby Johnson
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Kids who like puzzle mysteries and solving riddles are going to eat this up. And it's a story with meat on its bones. As Candice and Brandon are researching, they discover a lot of unsavory stuff that happened to the African Americans who started the whole thing in the 1950s. They learn a lot about their families and their town and themselves as they try to piece together where the fortune came from and where it might be hidden.

Hand this to kids who love The Westing Game and other puzzle mysteri
Jayne Bartrand
possible #mockNewbery2018
This book takes on too much.: race relations, Civil Rights history, LGBTQ, divorce, religion, some language. . .
and then you have to keep up with all these characters and time jumping/alternating chapters, plus The Westing Game (Raskin) letter/code mystery hidden treasure. . . too much
I'm not sure a middle grades reader would invest in all that.
Clare Lund
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Candice finds the strange letter in her grandmother's attic with clues about how to uncover a buried treasure, she and her new friend Brandon set out to solve the mystery that her grandma was never able to fully unravel. Along the way, they uncover reveals ugly, racist secrets lurking in the town's past, and a wrong against an entire family that they are hoping to right. I found the constant flashbacks to be a little jarring, and would have preferred to see more of the mystery through Candi ...more
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing blend of historical fiction and mystery. I loved this book. Definitely, think it could be up to win the Newberry.
Ms. Yingling
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Candice's grandmother was a city official in the small town of Lambert before she fell into disrepute. She thought there was treasure buried under the tennis courts and had them dug up. When no treasure appeared, she was relieved of her duties. Candice and her mother are spending the summer cleaning out her grandmother's house after her death, and Candice has some letters that indicate there is still a treasure out there. It's a rough summer-- her parents are sepa
Phil Jensen
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
It was so much of what I wanted, but not quite how I wanted it. Varian Johnson delivered the following rare ingredients:

* A mystery that is solved by learning history
* LGBT issues handled in a PG context
* A bully character with more than one dimension
* A balance between talking about the history of overt racism contrasted with modern, more subtle racism

And yet, it falls short. Why? Where did this winning formula go wrong?

* The characterization is heavy-handed. If a character is shy about seeming
Barb Middleton
A male high school student asked me to buy several romance ebooks for the Kindle. He didn't want to be "seen" carrying print copies just like the character, Brandon Jones, who likes to read "girl" stories. This is just one of many different social issues addressed in this novel giving it depth. Topics cover racism, marginalization, choices, LGBTQ, divorce, bullying and more; however, is written for readers ages 8-12. At the heart of the story is a puzzle being solved by the protagonist, Candice ...more
Bethany Turner
Book People, an independent bookstore in Austin, Texas, sent me this book because I liked Greenglass House. The Parker Inheritance was a perfect fit. It takes the reader on a puzzling adventure full of surprises, delights, and a large dose of history.
Leonard Kim
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Not sure the tricky aspects of this book work as well as in the Greene books, but the historical love story is sympathetic. Listened to the audiobook which, without spoiling anything, may actually make some details more effective. I’d be curious to see how they were handled in print.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was watching the Oscars last year and was really struck by a comment by the Pakistani director of a rom-com movie. He detailed how he grew up watching movies that primarily featured white characters directed by white males. He loved those movies and had great nostalgia for them but also appreciated how we've grown as a society so that a number of modern day movies feature a wide diversity of characters told by a swath of different voices. I feel this exact same way regarding books. I've read s ...more
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I think this is an important book. A great middle grade puzzle (shades of The Westing Game, which the author clearly references and it’s obvious he loves), but more importantly an amazing look at the systemic issue of race relations both back in the 50s and 60s as well as today. And in addition to race there are other issues that are raised and discussed well - divorce, LGBTQ just to name a couple - but they don’t seem to overload the story at all. The characters are well written and all seem so ...more
Karyn Silverman
I don’t think I loved this as much as other people did, although it’s totally solid and enjoyable and I would definitely recommend it to lots of actual middle grade readers. But that visceral love? Nah. Good puzzle, great history and puts oppression and racism into a context (then AND now) that I think is spot on for the intended audience. Poor copy editing though — Ms.McMillan/McMillian seems to change her name every chapter.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much!!!! I thought the character development was incredible, the plot was twisty and fun and the time changes were interesting! I especially love the way the character Brendon was so realistic and relatable. The way Varian addresses some of the issues in this book is amazing!!
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a great mystery! I liked the characters and the dual stories embedded (present & past).
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