||"My name is Dovey Coe, and I reckon it don't matter if you like me or not. I'm here to lay the record straight, to let you know them folks saying I done a terrible thing are liars.... I hated Parnell Caraway as much as the next person, but I didn't kill him."
Twelve-year-old Dovey has never had the slightest problem speaking her mind. But now, faced with a murder trial, she may just have to keep her mouth shut while the slick city lawyer takes care of things. It all started when the wealthy, vain, greedy Parnell takes a notion to win Dovey's older sister, trying to convince her she's too pretty to go off to college. But behind her back, he treats Dovey and her deaf brother Amos like dirt all summer long. Dovey gets in her jabs whenever she can--until the day she finds herself trapped in a back room with an irate, vengeful Parnell. Things don't look too good for Dovey when she comes to and finds her enemy dead on the floor next to her.
Southern courtroom drama, a sassy female protagonist, a misunderstood yet gentle neighborhood character, vicious and narrow-minded villains--sound familiar? Yes, there's a lot of Harper Lee's Scout in Dovey, and Boo Radley in Amos (To Kill a Mockingbird). But Frances O'Roark Dowell's absorbing, readable story of families, prejudice, love, and hate has a life all its own. Dovey is an impeccably drawn heroine, complete with Southern dialect, sturdy self-esteem, and down-home wisdom. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter