Bridge of the Single Hair

Bridge of the Single Hair, winner of a Kirkus Best of 2011 award, tells the dramatic story of one young white girl who traveled from Los Angeles to Mississippi in the summer of 1961 to protest American apartheid.

In June of that year, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) put out a nationwide appeal. Two buses carrying CORE volunteers had been attacked in May. The protesters—called Freedom Riders—were, on one bus, almost incinerated, and on the other nearly murdered by pipe wielding Klansmen as local police watched.

Jeri Turner, 17, answers the call and steps into the pages of American history. Arrested at the train depot in Jackson, she’s incarcerated in the maximum-security unit at Mississippi’s notorious state penitentiary, Parchman Farm.

In her tiny cell, she speaks through a wall vent to a mysterious prisoner. After her release, his predicament sends her off on a dangerous mission.