One Mississippi by Mark Childress

Cover Image

Back of the book: This exuberantly acclaimed novel tells an uproarious and moving story about family, best friends, first love, and surviving the scariest years of your life. You need only one best friend, Daniel Musgrove figures, to make it through high school alive. After his family moves to Mississippi just before his junior year, Daniel finds fellow outsider Tim Cousins. The two become inseparable, sharing a fascination with ridicule, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, and Arnita Beecham, the most bewitching girl at Minor High. But soon things go terribly wrong. The friends commit a small crime that grows larger and threatens to engulf the whole town. Arnita, the first black prom queen in the history of the school, is injured and wakes up a different person. And Daniel, Tim, and their families are swept up in a shocking chain of events.
* * * * *
One Mississippi grabbed me on the first page and didn’t let me go until the last. It takes place during the early 1970s which is when I was in high school. I identified with a lot in this book, but not everything. The story takes many turns – some expected and some not so much. It was painful to read one part that I found rather unbelievable, given the time frame. I have to say the final few pages made me want to know the next chapter of Daniel’s life. I would read that book.