The Secret of Magic / Deborah Johnson.
Winner of the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for fiction.
“As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun’s The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest. The book was a sensation, featured on the cover of Time magazine, and banned more than any other book in the South. And then M.P. Calhoun disappeared. With Thurgood’s permission, Regina heads down to Mississippi to find Calhoun and investigate the case. But as she navigates the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past, she finds that nothing in the South is as it seems.” –publisher
Deborah Johnson found motivation to write this novel by recalling the racially unjust experiences of her beloved grandfather and his deep admiration for Thurgood Marshall. She is the author of The Air Between Us, which received the Mississippi Library Association award for fiction. The author also worked for many years in Rome, Italy as a translator and editor of doctoral theses and at Vatican Radio.