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Lay that Trumpet in Our Hands
A Novel
Written by Susan Carol McCarthy

Lay that Trumpet in Our Hands
Enlarge View

Category: Fiction - Literary; Fiction - African American - Historical; Fiction - Biographical
Imprint: Bantam
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: April 2003
Price: $16.00
Can. Price: $21.00
ISBN: 978-0-553-38103-0 (0-553-38103-2)
Pages: 288

Awards & Honors:
*2003 Chautauqua South Fiction Award
*2003 San Diego Magazine's Book Award for Fiction
*2002 Deadly Pleasures' Best U.S. First Novel

Lay That Trumpet In Our Hands Common Reads List

•Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 2009 Freshman Year Read
•Finlandia University, Hancock, MI 2009 Freshman Year Read
•Montcalm County, MI 2008 One Book, One County Read
•Michigan State University 2007 Freshmen Year Read
•City of East Lansing, MI 2007 One Book, One Community Read
•St. Augustine-St. Johns County Libraries, FL 2007 One Book, One County Read
•Tampa-Hillsborough County Libraries, FL 2005 One Book, One County Read
•Norwich Free Academy, Norwich, CT NFA READS Program 2011
•Iroquois Jr/Sr High, Erie, PA One Grade Read 2011
•St. Francis Xavier School, LaGrange, IL One Class Read 2010
•The Pingry School, Martinsville, NJ Annual One Class Read since 2008
•High Meadow School, Stone Ridge, NY Upper School One Class Read since 2008
•Fairview High, Fairview, PA Annual One Class Read since 2008
•Gulliver Preparatory School, Miami, FL One Class Read since 2009
•Lely High, Naples, FL Senior Class Core Novel 2010
•Providence School, Jacksonville, FL One Class Read 2009
•Lake Mary Preparatory, Lake Mary, FL One Class Social Studies Read 2009
•Oveido High, Oviedo, FL One Class Read 2009
•Timber Creek High, Orlando, FL One Class Read 2009
•Lake Highland Preparatory, Orlando, FL One School Read 2008
•Paul J. Hagerty High, Oviedo, FL Annual One Class Read since 2008
•South Broward High, Hollywood, FL One Class Read 2008
•Jones High, Orlando, FL One Class Read 2008
•Liberty School, Madison, AL Annual One Class Read since 2008
•Rock Ledge High, Rock Ledge, MI One School Read 2007
•Trinity Preparatory, Winter Park, FL Annual One Class Read since 2007
•Lake Mary High, Lake Mary, FL Annual One Class Read since 2006
•Winter Springs High, Winter Springs, FL Annual One Class Read since 2006
•Colonial High, Orlando, FL Annual One Class Read since 2006
•Terrace Community School, Temple Terrace, FL One School Read 2006
•Academy at the Lakes, Land O' Lakes, FL One School Read 2006
•Gulf Breeze High, Gulf Breeze, FL One School Read 2005
•Approved High School Textbook 2010, Illinois State Board of Education
•Annual English II Core Curriculum Read since 2007, South Carolina State Board of Education
•TOP 40 YA TITLES, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association
•SOCIAL SCIENCE DOCKET: "Using Literature in Secondary Schools to Teach about the African American Struggle for Civil Rights," a joint publication of the New York & New Jersey State Councils for the Social Studies
•SUMMER/CIVIL RIGHTS READING LIST: Middlesex County High Schools, East Brunswick, NJ
•Historical Fiction Secondary Reading list, San Dieguito Unified Schools, Encinitas, CA
•Literary Canon (Required & Supplementary Literary Selections) of Gaston County Schools, Gastonia, NC 2009
•RECOMMENDED READ: The Virginia Bar Association's "Rule of Law Project"
•FLORIDA TEEN BOOK MAP PROJECT, Florida Reading Association
•State of Florida Taskforce on African American History, Recommended Secondary Read
•The High Schools of Duval County, FL Core Novel for Secondary Intensive Reading since 2010
•The High Schools of Hamilton County, FL Core Novel for Secondary Reading since 2009
•The High Schools of Polk County, FL Approved Instructional Reading List since 2009
•The High Schools of Manatee County, FL Annual Core Curriculum Read since 2008
•The High Schools of Escambia County, FL Annual Core Literacy Read since 2008
•HOT PICKS! District-wide Summer Reading list for the High Schools of Broward County, FL

Daphne High, Daphne, AL; Baldwin County Learning Centers, Baldwin County, AL; Oak Mountain High, Birmingham, AL; Shelby County Instructional Services Center, Alabaster, AL; E-cademie Charter High, Phoenix, AZ; Anaheim School District, Anaheim, CA; New Haven Academy, New Haven, CT; Cromwell Board of Education, Cromwell, CT; New Canaan High, New Canaan, CT; Lake Forest High, Felton, DE; Smyna High, Smyrna, DE; Brevard Public Schools, Melbourne & Cocoa, FL; Rainwater Center for Girls, Cocoa, FL; Frances Walker Halfway House, Titusville, FL; Charlotte County Public Schools, Punta Gorda, FL; Madison County School District, Madison, FL; Robert E. Lee High, Jacksonville, FL; Washington High, Escambia High & Pine Forest High, Pensacola, FL; JM Tate High, Cantonment, FL; Hamilton County School District, Jasper, FL; Marianna High, Marianna, FL; Okeechobee High, Okeechobee, FL; Clay County School District, Green Cove Springs, FL; Boone High, Orlando, FL; Fort White High, Lake City, FL; Northview High, Bratt, FL; W. Florida High School of Advanced Technology, Pensacola, FL; Brandon Alternative School, Seffner, FL; Cohokia United School District, Cohokia, IL; East Alton-Wood River Community High, Wood River, IL; Joliet Public Schools, Joliet, IL; Collinsville High, Collinsville, IL; Madison Senior High, Madison, IL; Clark Pleasant Community School District, Whiteland, IN; Mississinewa Community Schools, Gas City, IN; School City of East Chicago, East Chicago, IL; Morton High & Hammond High , Hammond, IN; Clark High, Whiting, IN; South Port High, Indianapolis, IN; Southwestern High, Shelbyville, IN; Triton Central High, Fairland, IN; SW Kansas Area Cooperative District, Ensign, KS; Scottsville High, Scottsville, KY; Carter County School District, Grayson, KY; Greenwood High, Bowling Green, KY; DuVal High, Lanham, MD; Eleanor Roosevelt High, Greenbelt, MD; Oxon Hill High, Oxon Hill, MD; Parkdale High, Riverdale, MD; High Point High, Beltsvile, MD; Lubec High, Lubec, ME; Machias Memorial High, Machias, ME; Shead High, Eastport, ME; Jonesport Beals High, Jonesport, ME; Central High, Grand Rapids, MI; Redword Union High, Redford, MI; Amite County School District, Liberty, MS; Horn Lake High, Horn Lake, MS; Grand Island High, Grand Island, NE; Sanborn Regional School District, Kingston, NH; Amy Biehl High, Albuquerque, NM; Native American Community Academy, Albuquerque, NM; Del City Senior High, Del City, OK; Rose Tree Media School District, Media, PA; Caprock High, Amarillo, TX; Chavez High, Houston, TX; Irving High & Union Bower High & MacArthur High, Irving, TX; Jefferson Forest High, Forest, VA; Liberty High, Bedford, VA.

Pacifica High, Oxnard, CA; Rodriguez High, Fairfield, CA; Diamond Fork High, Spanish Fork, UT; San Juan High, Blanding, UT; Metamora Township High, Metamora, IL; Lamphere High, Madison Heights, MI; Arcadia High, Rochester, NY; Greece Central School District High Schools, North Greece, NY; Huntington High, Huntington, NY; Shenendehowa High, Clifton Park, NY; St. Mary's School, Swormville, NY; River Dell High, Oradell, NJ; Princeton High, Cincinnati, OH; Blackstone Valley Regional High, Upton, MA; Harwich High School, Harwich, MA; Malden High School, Malden, MA; Medway School, Medway, MA; Natick High, Natick, MA; Saugus High, Saugus, MA; Smithfield High, Smithfield, RI; Danbury High, Danbury, CT; East Hartford High, East Hartford, CT; Appoquinimink High, Middletown, DE; Middletown High, Middletown, DE; Paris High School, Paris, KY; Fairfield Central High, Winnsboro, SC; Mandeville High, Mandeville, LA; Henry W. Grady High, Atlanta, GA; Cypress Bay High, Weston, FL; Duncan U. Fletcher High, Neptune Beach, FL; Eastside High School, Gainesville, FL; Edgewater High, Orlando, FL; Florida Atlantic Technical High, Coconut Creek, FL; Freedom High, Orlando, FL; Gainesville High, Gainesville, FL; Lake Howell High, Winter Park, FL; Lawton Chiles High, Tallahassee, FL; Monarch High, Coconut Creek, FL; Northeast High, Oakland Park, FL; Orangewood Christian Upper School, Maitland, FL; Paladin Academy, Weston, FL; Seminole High, Sanford, FL; Somerset Academy, Pembroke Pines, FL; South Plantation High, Plantation, FL; Spanish River High School, Boca Raton, FL; St. Augustine High, St. Augustine, FL; Tavares High School, Tavares, FL; West Orange High, Winter Garden, FL

Shibuya School, Makuhari, Japan Advanced English 2 Read; Lincoln High School, Lincoln, NE English 10D Leadership Project; Oak Lawn Community High, Oak Lawn, IL; Lakeland High School, White Lake, MI Honors English Read; Geneva High, Geneva, NY English 1 Read; Glastonbury High, Glastonbury, CT English 2 Read; Tolland High, Tolland, CT English Honors Read; West Florida High School, Pensacola, FL English 1 Honors Read; Atlantic High School, Port Orange, FL English III Honors Read; Braden River School, Bradenton, FL English I Honors Read; Carlos E. Haile School, Bradenton, FL English I Honors Read; Hamilton County High, Jasper, FL English II Read; Wekiva High, Apopka, FL English III Honors Read; Beacon High School, Naples, FL English IV Read; Hollywood Hills High, Hollywood, FL Government & Law Communications; Coral Gables High School, Coral Gables, FL English Honors Read; Buffalo Creek School, Palmetto, FL English I Honors Read; Cypress Creek High, Orlando, FL English I Honors Read; Timber Creek High, Orlando, FL AP Read; Pinellas Park High, Largo, FL Annual Honors Read; Lawton Chiles High, Tallahassee, FL Annual AP Read; Seabreeze High, Daytona Beach, FL Annual Honors Read; Fernandina Beach School, Fernandina Beach, FL

*2009 Michigan State Reading Conference
*2007 California Reading Association
*2006 Florida Library Association keynote
*2005 Florida Council of Teachers of English
*2004 Florida Council of Language Arts Supervisors  

Notable Items:
*Core text in State of South Carolina's English II "With Justice for All" curriculum, developed by renowned literacy consultant Dr. Janet Allen.

To listen to Michigan State University’s One Book, One Community program interview with both the author and Evangeline Moore, the 77-year-old daughter of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore whose murders by the KKK figure prominently in Lay That Trumpet In Our Hands, please visit http://spartanpodcast.com/?p=303.

Inspired by real events, Lay That Trumpet In Our Hands is a novel that tackles race politics in the pre-Civil Rights South unlike any other book in recent memory.

A wise and luminous story about a northern family, a southern town, and the senseless murder that sparks an extraordinary act of courage, the book is told from the point of view of a little girl who is witness to the extraordinary turn of events that begins with the lynching of a black man. From the arrival of noteworthy figures such as Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP, and Mr. Hoover's FBI, to the expressed opinions and actions of the everyday town citizen, Lay That Trumpet In Our Hands will give students a solid sense of the events, people, and national mood of this volatile and chaotic period in American history.

"Reminiscent of To Kill A Mockingbird, McCarthy's debut novel is an engrossing story of one girl's coming of age during the early years of the Civil Rights Movement" —Library Journal

“[E]vocative ... Reesa is an engaging narrator, obsessed with the murder of her friend Marvin, slowly becoming aware of the virulent hatred and bigotry that coexists with their neighbors' generosity, good manners and Baptist spiritual fervor.”—Publishers Weekly


Click here for Susan McCarthy's site


Susan Carol McCarthy was born and raised in the rolling grovelands of pre-Disney central Florida. The daughter of independent citrus growers, she recalls "picking fruit, packing bushel baskets and pouring fresh-squeezed orange juice for the tourists who stopped by my family's packing house" on Florida's heavily-traveled Route 441.

A graduate of University of South Florida (BA in English Literature), McCarthy wrote advertising for newly-opened Walt Disney World in Orlando. Later on, after successful stints at larger ad agencies in Atlanta and San Francisco, she settled in San Diego as a full-time freelancer.

In 1991, McCarthy received a package that changed her life: Inside a rather large envelope, the front page news article from the Orlando Sentinel detailed a series of shocking race crimes that occurred in Florida in 1951-1952. (Records of an FBI investigation, a Grand Jury hearing, and KKK indictments had been sealed for 40 years.) Underneath the clipping was a startling eight-page letter from her father. "Everybody in town knew the local Klan was involved," he wrote, "but nobody was willing to do anything about it. I want you to hear, from the horse's mouth, what I did and why."

McCarthy's father's account of his daring cooperation with the FBI became the basis for her award-winning debut novel, Lay That Trumpet In Our Hands.

Her second novel, True Fires, published January 2004, is also inspired by true events, circa 1954. Kirkus Reviews called the book "a vivid portrait of mid-century corruption and of some brave enough to risk everything for justice."

McCarthy says, "I'm drawn to the stories of ordinary people who, when backed into a moral corner, choose, often at great risk, to do the right thing. Where do they get such extraordinary courage? How do they achieve that level of grace?"