The Promise of Jesse Woods
The summer of 1972 was the most pivotal of Matt Plumley's childhood. While his beloved Pirates battle for back-to-back World Series titles, Matt's family moves from Pittsburgh to Dogwood, West Virginia.
A fish out of water, Matt forges a fast bond with two unlikely friends: Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed-race boy, and Jesse Woods, a tough-as-nails girl with a sister on her hip and no dad in sight. As the trio traipses the hills and hollers, Matt begins to fall for Jesse, and their promises to each other draw him deeper into her terrifying reality.
One night, Matt joins Jesse in a rescue that saves one life and ends another . . . and severs the bond of their friendship.
Years later, Matt is pulled back to Dogwood and to memories of that momentous summer, determined to learn the truth behind the only promise Jesse Woods ever broke.
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The Promise of Jesse Woods was awarded the 2017 Christy Award in the General Fiction category. For a complete list of winners and finalists, please visit the Christy Awards website.