The year is 1946. Gabriel, a 12-year-old white boy, lives in a small town in South Carolina. One day, Gabriel runs a red light on his bicycle and is nearly killed. He’s saved by a stranger named Meriwether, an African-American World War II veteran.
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA is about the unlikely relationship between Gabriel and Meriwether. As their friendship grows, Gabriel sees for the first time how hard life in his hometown can be for a black man.
COURTESY PENGUIN YOUNG READERS GROUP
Author BRENDA WOODS (pictured) was inspired by real-life veterans and by white people who joined the 1960s civil rights movement. “I imagine Gabriel, because of his friendship with Meriwether, would have been one of them,” she told TFK Kid Reporter Alana Cho.