Crossing Jordan

by Adrian Fogelin
Illustrated by Suzy Schultz
Twelve-year-old Cassie’s life is changed when Jemmie, an African-American girl, and her family move in next door.
  • ISBN: 9781561452156
  • Publication date: 03/01/2000
  • Page Count: 160
  • Size: 6" x 9"
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561452156
  • Publication date: 03/01/2000
  • Page Count: 160
  • Size: 6" x 9"
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561452811
  • Publication date: 07/01/2002
  • Page Count: 160
  • Size: 6" x 9"
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • ISBN: 9781561456031
  • Publication date: 05/15/2011
  • Page Count: N/A
  • Age Range: 8-12
  • Price:
  • Age Range: 8-12
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Twelve-year-old Cassie’s life is changed when Jemmie, an African-American girl, and her family move in next door. Can she and Jemmie overcome family prejudice and cultural differences in a small, working-class town?

Cass is dreading a long, lonely summer until Jemmie and her family move in next door. The only problem is both of their parents don’t want them socializing with each other, and have deeply help prejudices, exemplified by the fence Cassie’s father builds between their two houses.

Despite their parents’ warnings, Cassie and Jemmie start communicating through a hole in the fence and find they share more similarities than differences. Mutual interests in reading and running draw them together, and their wariness of each other disappears. But when their parents find out about the burgeoning friendship, each girl is forbidden to see the other. A family crisis and celebration provide opportunities for the families to reach an understanding.

With unforgettable characters, author Adrian Fogelin addresses the complex issues of bigotry and tolerance with sensitivity and intelligence, poignantly reminding readers of fences that too often separate us from one another.


Adrian Fogelin


Adrian Fogelin is the author of several novels for middle readers and young adults, including Crossing Jordan and The Real Question. She lives in Florida.

Suzy Schultz


Suzy Schultz is an illustrator and fine artist. She lives in Georgia.


“Jemmie and Cass are likable, lively characters, and readers will enjoy the repartee between them.” ―School Library Journal

“In this sensitive portrait of black-white relations in a changing neighborhood, Fogelin offers a tactful, evenhanded look at prejudice.” ―USA Today

“Fogelin creates Cass and Jemmie as complex characters with the same differences of approach and personality that mark the interactions of other best friends, whatever their skin color. Cass’ straightforward voice never falters, even when she questions her father’s beliefs and her own decisions. Readers will appreciate the honesty of Fogelin’s approach and applaud the two girls in their fast friendship.” ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Old experiences and lifelong attitudes are hard to overcome, as Adrian Fogelin deftly demonstrates in her portrayal of Cass’ dad and Jemmie’s mom. Fogelin’s characters are complex, fallible, and loving, as are real people, making Crossing Jordan an engrossing coming-of-age story.” ―Orange County Register


Best Books for Young Adults ―YALSA, 2001

Notable Books for a Global Society (Honor Book) ―International Reading Association, 2001

Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers ―VOYA, 2000

Children’s Literature Choice List ―Children’s Literature, 2001

Children’s Books Mean Business ―American Booksellers Association and Children’s Book Council Joint Committee, 2003

Selected Book for Florida ―National Book Festival, 2003

Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2001

For Teens, by Teens: Teens Recommended Reading List ―Just Read, Florida!, 2011

Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award (Masterlist) ―Illinois Reading Council, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, Illinois School Library Media Association, 2003

Sequoyah Book Awards (Young Adult Masterlist) ―Oklahoma Library Association, 2002-2003

Garden State Teen Book Award (Nominee) ―New Jersey Library Association, 2003

Just Read, Florida! Summer Recommended Reading List ―Florida Department of Education 2003, 2009-2011

Georgia Children’s Book Award (Nominee) ―University of Georgia, 2001

Maud Hart Lovelace Award (Nominee, Grades 3-8) ―Minnesota Youth Reading Awards, 2004-2005

Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Awards (Nominee) ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2003-2004

South Carolina Children’s Book Award (Nominee) ―South Carolina Association of School Librarians, 2002-2003

Sunshine State Young Readers’ Award (Nominee Grades 3-8) ―FAME, 2002-2003


Resources: Teacher's Guide

Teacher’s Guide

More Details

AR Level: 4.5
F&P: X, Gr 6, Genre RF
Lexile: 650L
Themes: Friendship, Loyalty, Race, Reading, Running, Tolerance
BISAC 1: JUV039120 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Prejudice & Racism
BISAC 2: JUV011010 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / African American
BISAC 3: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship