South of Little Rock

South of Little Rock
391 Pages
ISBN 978-1-9772-0197-3

WINNER, Next Generation Indie Book Award for Regional Fiction (US and Canada) WINNER, National Independent Excellence Award for Regional Fiction (Southeast) WINNER, Independent Publishers IPPY Bronze Medal for Regional Fiction (South)

When the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis sends shock waves across the nation in 1957, Sam Tate, a white merchant, councilman, and widower with two young children, faces new questions of conscience, belief, and child-rearing in tiny Unionville, Arkansas. Becky Reeves, an unmarried northerner who has come south to teach while hiding a secret past, must decide how to approach current events in her seventh-grade class with getting fired. Gran Tate, a strong-willed woman who loves quilting and helping raise her grandchildren, dislikes blacks and Yankees and fears she may lose everything she holds dear.

Life gets more complicated for all of them when Governor Faubus calls out the National Guard to stop the desegregation of Central High, President Eisenhower sends federal troops to enforce it, and Unionville editor Preston Upshaw fans the flames of hatred to sell newspapers.

Amid cross burnings, White Citizens’ Council meetings, and fervent speculating and sermonizing by townsfolk, white and black—at home, work, and church—Sam questions old ways, Ida Belle clings to tradition, and Becky angers parents and school officials. The unrest brings Sam and Becky together then combines with Becky's secret to stand between them in an emotional journey through a world where love and courage struggle against fear and hate.

George Rollie Adams

About George Rollie Adams (Rochester, New York Author)

George Rollie Adams

George Rollie Adams is an educator, historian, and former museum director now writing historical fiction about small town and family life and social issues still relevant today.

A native of southern Arkansas, Adams holds two degrees in social science education and a doctorate in American history and has taught in high school and college. He has researched and written about National Historic Landmarks for the National Park Service, managed professional training programs for the American Association for State and Local History, and directed the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Louisiana State Museum, and Strong National Museum of Play.

His military biography, General William S. Harney: Prince of Dragoons, was a finalist for the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Book Award, and he founded and served as editor in chief of the American Journal of Play, the first interdisciplinary magazine devoted solely to the study of play.

Adams lives in New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes region, and because he comes from a family of quilters, quilting figures prominently in his work. He and his wife have three adopted daughters, each from a different part of the world.

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