FIREFLIES IN DECEMBER
With expressive descriptions and credible characters, it's easy to see why this book won the Christian Writers Guild's 2007 Operation First Novel contest. Valent shines an awareness on the racial tensions in the South in the 1930s and its impact on innocent children.
It seems that bad things always happen in the summer, and the summer Jessilyn turns 13 is no exception. Her best friend Gemma's parents are killed, and Gemma moves in with Jessilyn's family. Many people in their small Virginia town have a problem with that, since Jessilyn's white and Gemma's black. The girls experience the deep hatred found in close-minded people as they struggle to listen to Jessilyn's father and be the lights in the darkness as God wants them to be. (TYNDALE, Jan., 274 pp., $12.99)