From the acclaimed author of the Newbery Medal-winning classic Sounder comes an evocative story of human compassion triumphing over prejudice in the segregated South. At the heart of the novel is the powerful, healing friendship between a grieving white family and an understanding African-American teacher. It seems that even the land has betrayed the three Stone children. So barren that it's known as sour land, the family's farm requires all their father's attention, as he struggles to keep it going. Alone, the children try to come to terms with the death of their mother, but they are overwhelmed by sadness. Then they meet Moses Waters, the new teacher at the black school. Moses can hear things no one else can, such as the sound of the grass and the earth humming together. He opens up a world of hope and possibility to the grief-stricken family. But a sour land grows sour people. There are some folks in town who don't approve of the cross-cultural friendship. And it looks like they will go to dangerous lengths to stop it.