The National Black Book Festival Jerry Pickney Children’s book Award Finalist. Watch The Award’s Video Here!


Nine-year-old Jamal from Minnesota is a jelly-bean-counting whiz kid who wins the school Jelly Bean Counting Contest. His Grandma Lynn wishes Jamal had been around when her mother was alive in Mississippi in the sixties, a time of Black voter suppression. Ma Dear was never able to vote because she couldn’t pass the test of guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar. Jamal, too, wishes he could have helped his great grandmother.
Jamal’s wish magically comes true with the help of a tiny, beautiful butterfly lady, Queen Azina. She sends Jamal, his eleven-year-old brother Jordan, and their German shepherd Pharaoh back in time to 1964 Mississippi. Their efforts to help Ma Dear take much patience, courage, and determination as they confront the brutal discrimination of the old South. Join Jamal and Jordan as they visit the Mississippi Delta and work for Ma Dear’s civil right to vote.