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.