Okay, I am from the deep south, Mississippi as it happens, and I tend to be a little bit harder on these type books because so many of them are too exaggerated and seem cartoonish in their characterizations. I have to give Mr. Childress credit, he got it just right in my opinion. I literally could not lay this one down. It was what I dreamed about last night after I finished at 1 a.m. There is so much good in this book. I love the time it was set in (early 1970's) during integration and Watergate. It is a coming of age story about 17 year old Daniel Musgrove who is transplanted into Mississippi from Indiana. It had incredible conflicts, and was dark without being negative. There are issues the author addresses such as inter-racial relationships, bullying, and Daniel's crisis of conscience. I thought it made the people of the South seem real and true to life especially since Daniel considers himself a "Yankee" and the story is told from his point of view. It has conflict and humor and it is one of the most enjoyable reads I have had in quite awhile. Be aware that there is some rough language and some explicit descriptions, but overall I loved the book and will be reading it again!