September 1, 2020
WINNER OF FERROL SAMS FICTION AWARD
Fifteen-year-old Lucas Webster doesn't mind working in the fields and chopping cotton on his grandparents' farm in South Georgia, but he hates getting stuck caring for his Uncle Robert. Born with Down Syndrome, Robert is ten years older than Lucas and follows Lucas around like a clumsy shadow. Lucas wants to get out of Crisscross and be rid of his child-like uncle.
After his grandpa dies in the spring of 1948, things change. His grandmother withdraws in her grief and Alvin Earl, Robert's half-brother, returns to manage the farm with his guns and stash of liquor. Lucas must become more than a reluctant caretaker. A hard man, Alvin Earl plans to pull Lucas out of school to work on the farm full-time and send Robert to the state asylum. When a fatal shooting occurs late one hot afternoon, Lucas must decide what to tell the sheriff. As he discovers the ties that can destroy and bind a family, he cannot reveal what really happened to the local authorities or anyone else.