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Back to Young Hoosiers 2003-2004 Nominees: Intermediate (Grades 4-6)

Dancing in Cadillac Light

Author: Kimberly Willis Holt

Publisher: Putnam
ISBN: 0399234020
Retail Price: $16.99
Our Price: $11.05
Hardcover edition

Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 0698119703
Retail Price: $5.99
Our Price: $3.90
Paper edition

Inside Front Flap:

Momma once said Jesus had his work
cut out for him with me.

     I reckon she was right.

Whenever her feelings get the best of her, Jaynell Lambert climbs into an old junker in Clifton Bailey’s Automobile Salvage and Parts and pretends to drive away. It’s the summer of 1968, and within a year the dirt road in front of her house will be paved. Grandpap will move in and men will walk on the moon. It’s enough to make anyone wonder. But for now, Jaynell, her sister, Racine, and their parents live with dust and potholes, dreaming of their lives turning into something grand.

Grandpap’s moving in shouldn’t mean much more than Jaynell giving up her room and setting another place at the table. But when he goes out and buys a 1962 emerald green

Cadilac convertible, nothing is the same again. It isn’t the driving lessons he gives Jaynell on the sly or the way he turns on the headlights for Racine to dance in their glow. It’s what happens later. It’s what happens after he’s gone.

Kimberly Willis Holt has written an unforgettable story of dreams and legacies, capturing a time when all of America joined together to watch the first man walk on the moon. A time when a Cadillac and the legacy of an old man could transform a family and show them how to dance.


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