Bayou by Jeremy Love
“The bayou is a bad place, ain’t nuthin’ good ever happened there … ”
When Lee Wagstaff told her pig-headed friend Lily that, she meant every word of it. But Lily doesn’t understand. She doesn’t know of the … things, monsters that Lee has seen there, she doesn’t understand the bayou is a burial ground for black folk who did nothing wrong, but being black. She doesn’t understand that it’s filled with bodies, and worse, monsters.
But Lee warned Lily, and she didn’t listen. She didn’t listen the first time when she lost her gold locket to the bayou, and she didn’t listen the last time when she was trying to right her wrong and ended up losing her life to the bayou instead. Lee tried to stop her, but it was too late. Lily was gobbled up by one of the fierce bayou monsters, swallowed whole leaving only a shoe and a memory behind.
Now that Lily’s missing, all fingers – all white fingers that is – point to Lee’s daddy. A hulking sharecropper who rents land from Lily’s mother. There’s no evidence, but that doesn’t matter. Innocent or guilty, Lee’s daddy will hang either way. Unless Lee can prove his innocence and get Lily back.
It’s up to Lee, a pint-sized girl with a heart full of love, to save the only family she really has – her daddy.
Bayou is an honest examination of life in the deep South some eighty years ago. It was full of raw racism and rich folklore. Love has managed to weave both into an unforgettable story that will leave readers wanting more. Love has even managed to weave fantasy elements into a story that is as magical as it is scary.