Have you ever had the feeling you weren’t loved by the momma God gave you? Lucky for Gracie, she has two mommas. One cares for her every day while the other goes off to work. One is happy, strong and free while the other is sad, dark and depressed. One is black. The other is white. One Gracie must leave.
Grace Callaway lives down deep in Alabama during a turbulent time of protests, boycotts, and sit-ins. It is a segregated world where black and white won’t mix. But don’t tell that to Ida Bell and Grace.
Ida Bell has been Gracie's nanny since the day she came home from the hospital in a shoebox. They love each other like a real mother and daughter. Even way more. But the summer Grace turns ten, her white momma decides they need to move away.
Moving means just one thing: leaving Ida Bell. Grace knows she cannot go. She knows she cannot let go. How can she leave the person who raised her when her real momma couldn’t? How can she leave the person who taught her how to walk, and who took her to her first day of school when her real momma wouldn’t? If she leaves, who will keep her secrets? Who will hold her? Who will love her?
She can’t leave. She won’t. There must be a way to stay.
Leslie Rivver grew up in the Deep Alabama South. She ventured up the east coast for college and graduate school, spent close to a decade teaching children on the Arctic shores of Alaska, and now lives on a wild and cold mountain in Vermont.
“Leslie Rivver’s Blackberries and Cream is the deeply moving story of a special friendship between a wise and loving black woman named Ida Bell and a young white girl named Gracie from a prominent but troubled family. Set in a small town in Alabama in the 1960s, this powerful coming-of-age story for middle-grade children deals honestly and lovingly with issues ranging from the Civil Rights Movement to death, and family dysfunction to our purpose in the world.” — Howard Frank Mosher, author of Stranger in the Kingdom