Twelve-year-old Chili Sue Mahoney has never been outside of her small Appalachian town. Mercy Hill, Kentucky, is home, with its meadows full of flowers, nights full of fireflies, grand mountains surrounding her little town. But it's also a place of poverty and old ways, and Chili longs to see the world.
So she's thrilled when the mysterious, world-traveled Miss Matlock returns to Mercy Hill—amidst whispered rumors—and becomes the seventh-grade substitute teacher. As Chili and her classmate Willie Bright spend time with Miss Matlock, listening to her stories of faraway lands, Chili discovers that there may be more to Mercy Hill than she thought: beauty, in the people and places she's known all her life, and deep-rooted secrets, sometimes where they're least expected.
About the Author
KATIE PICKARD FAWCETT grew up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky and spent two years as a social worker in Appalachia. She has counseled and tutored students in the Washington, D.C. area, written ads for Peace Corps and VISTA, and worked for the World Bank writing about development projects in Third World countries. Her personal essays have been published in several magazines, and her favorite diversion is travel and the different cultural experiences it brings. She lives with her husband and son in McLean, Virginia. Visit her on the Web at KatiePickardFawcett.Wordpress.com.