Category Archives: Richmond


Jody Meacham. Through the Heart of the South. San Jose, CA: Doodlebug Publishing, 2010.

It’s the summer of 1968, and Chris McAndrew should be relaxed and looking forward to his senior year of high school in Shortridge, North Carolina. But this year, the local black school, Booker T. Washington High, is closing, and all of the students there will matriculate at the formerly whites-only Shortridge High. The School Board fought long and hard against this integration, and when nothing prevented it, did everything they could to make this year as uncomfortable as possible for the black community. Class activities and trips are eliminated, and if any black player should even think of scoring the winning point in a football game, there will be hell to pay. Chris is convinced it’s just plain wrong to treat anyone this way, but speaking up means being labeled a “nigger-lover” by the rest of the whites in Shortridge, especially his girlfriend Susan Marks’s angry father, Wade.

But as Chris and his best friend Cam get to know the new students, especially Malachi Stevens, a particularly gifted singer and football player, it gets harder to be friends in the classroom but treat them as less than human when school lets out. Susan and the rest of the town continue to try to convince Chris that “they” are the ones taking everything from the white population and polluting it, but somehow that doesn’t make sense. The situation finally comes to an ugly head when a local NAACP representative is murdered and found by his young daughter, and a teenage biracial couple flee to South Carolina to get married, only to return under a shadow when they find out it’s illegal. With the Vietnam War hanging over their heads and the railroad industry that supports Shortridge sliding under their feet, the graduating class of 1969 must at least agree on one thing: the times, they are a’changin’.

This heartfelt and engaging coming-of-age novel is Meacham’s first, and is based partially on his own experiences growing up in Hamlet, North Carolina.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library’s catalog. 


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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Historical, Meacham, Jody, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Richmond

Holly Lisle. Memory of Fire. New York: EOS, 2002.

Usually when people consider magic, the end result is something that benefits them. Who wouldn’t want a million dollars to magically appear in his or her pocket? Who wouldn’t want to walk in the warm sands of Bali? Unfortunately, there are some who would use magic for evil. Such is the case in the town of Cat Creek, North Carolina.  Cat Creek, located in Richmond County, is a special place because it is home to the Sentinels, individuals who are capable of magic and who are the gatekeepers of an alternate universe called Oria. When one of the Sentinels turns on his allies, he not only puts them in danger but also causes an epidemic, called the Carolina Flu, which puts humans the world over in danger. As the Sentinels try to make peace between the two worlds, an unlikely pair of strangers provides indispensable help. Lauren Dane, the daughter of Sentinels who were killed for being suspected traitors, has special magical powers that allow her to be one of the rare gateweavers. Molly McColl, who has just been kidnapped by Oria natives and is believed by them to be a Vodi (Orian goddess), is Lauren’s long-lost half-sister. The two women use their talents to save both worlds and to reclaim the honor that their families deserve.

Memory of Fire is book one of Lisle’s The World Gates series.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Coastal Plain, Lisle, Holly, Novels in Series, Richmond, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Lawrence Naumoff. A Southern Tragedy, in Crimson and Yellow. Winston-Salem: Zuckerman Cannon, 2005.

In this work of “docufiction,” Naumoff explores the tragic 1991 fire at a chicken plant in Hamlet, N.C. in which many workers died when they were locked into the building, unable to escape from the flames. Naumoff engages many of the broader themes of the tragedy, looking at the struggles of the small town in a changing economy, and examining the complicated relationships between the employers and employees.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2005, Docufiction, Naumoff, Laurence, Richmond