Cover image for Dreamland burning / Jennifer Latham.
Dreamland burning / Jennifer Latham.
First trade paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2018.
Physical Description:
371 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
"Originally published in hardcover and ebook by Little, Brown and Company in February 2017"--Title page verso.

Includes discussion guide.
When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past... and the present.


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LAT Paperback Teen Collection

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A compelling dual-narrated tale from Jennifer Latham that questions how far we've come with race relations.
Some bodies won't stay buried.
Some stories need to be told.

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the present and the past.

Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what's right the night Tulsa burns.

Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham's lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important questions about the complex state of US race relations--both yesterday and today.

Author Notes

Jennifer Latham is an army brat with a soft spot for kids, books, and poorly behaved dogs. She's the author of Scarlett Undercover and lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and two daughters.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Latham's powerful second novel (after Scarlett Undercover) opens in present-day Tulsa, Okla., with the discovery of human bones beneath the floorboards of the Chase family's guesthouse. The police have little interest in identifying the skeleton or determining how it got there, but 17-year-old Rowan and her best friend, James, feel compelled to investigate. Nearly a century earlier, in 1921, 17-year-old William Tillman defies Tulsa's Jim Crow laws by selling a Victrola to a black teenager, Joseph Goodhope. Will grows to respect Joseph and becomes fond of his irrepressible younger sister, Ruby. When the Ku Klux Klan starts rounding up black people and burning their homes and businesses, Will is forced to make difficult decisions. Rowan and Will take turns narrating, their stories intertwining intriguingly as they unfold in parallel. Populated with vivid, relatable characters and structured to maximize mystery, tension, and dread, Latham's novel provides a gripping education in the real-life horror story that was the Tulsa race riot, shines a light on the current state of race relations, and inspires hope for the future. Ages 14-up. Agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Alternating between the voices of two seventeen-year-oldsa contemporary biracial (her mother is black, her father is white) young woman named Rowan Chase, and Will Tillman, son of an Osage mother and white father, in 1921this book sheds light on the Tulsa race riot of 1921 in which white Tulsans decimated a thriving black neighborhood. During a summer remodel of Rowans familys home, workers discover a skeleton beneath the floorboards. Rowan plays amateur detective, researching Tulsa history in the hopes of finding clues to the skeletons identity. In 1921, Joseph Goodhope is the first black boy to convince Wills shopkeeper father (who thinks himself decent because he is willing to sell to black people after hours and hasthus farnot joined the KKK) to accept a payment plan on the honor system. This intrigues Will enough that the young men cautiously form, if not an outright friendship, then a relationship of mutual respect. Their association becomes a life-or-death matter when racial tensions in town come to a head. The intricately plotted mystery is stronger in the historical setting; the present-day narrative abruptly switches focus to questions of morality after Rowan observes a racially charged incident. Latham thoughtfully asks readers to consider the responsibilities of a witness; what it is like to be biracial when belonging to one group is paramount; and about whether saving one person can make a difference in the broader context of societys racial problems. sarah hannah gmez (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.