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From the acclaimed author of Mother of Pearl comes the story of Chalktown, an eerily quiet village in George County, Mississippi, where folks communicate with one another solely through chalkboards hanging from their front porches. Sixteen-year-old Hezekiah Sheehand lives down the road with his reckless sister, Arena, his mentally disabled younger brother, Yellababy, and their often cruel mother, Susan-Blair, whose husband has abandoned the family. The mystery of Chalktown calls to Hez, and one day he sets out with Yellababy strapped to his back, determined to divine the key to the chalk. Meanwhile, his family confronts a tragedy that just might pave an unexpected road toward a hopeful future.