Book Cover Image of Your Plantation Prom Is Not Okay by Kelly McWilliams

Your Plantation Prom Is Not Okay
by Kelly McWilliams

    Publication Date: May 02, 2023
    List Price: $18.99
    Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    Target Age Group: Young Adult
    ISBN13: 9780316449939
    Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Publisher: Hachette Book Group
    Parent Company: Hachette Livre

    Hardcover Description:

    A sharp-witted, timely novel that explores cancel culture, anger, and grief, and challenges the romanticization of America’s racist past with humor and heart, for fans of Dear Martin by Nic Stone and Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

    Harriet Douglass lives with her historian father on an old plantation in Louisiana, which they’ve transformed into one of the South’s few enslaved people’s museums. Together, while grieving the recent loss of Harriet’s mother, they run tours that help keep the memory of the past alive.

    Harriet’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of mother and daughter Claudia and Layla Hartwell—who plan to turn the property next door into a wedding venue, and host the offensively antebellum-themed wedding of two Hollywood stars.

    Harriet’s fully prepared to hate Layla Hartwell, but it seems that Layla might not be so bad after all—unlike many people, this California influencer is actually interested in Harriet’s point of view. Harriet’s sure she can change the hearts of Layla and her mother, but she underestimates the scale of the challenge…and when her school announces that prom will be held on the plantation, Harriet’s just about had it with this whole racist timeline! Overwhelmed by grief and anger, it’s fair to say she snaps.

    Can Harriet use the power of social media to cancel the celebrity wedding and the plantation prom? Will she accept that she’s falling in love with her childhood best friend, who’s unexpectedly returned after years away? Can she deal with the frustrating reality that Americans seem to live in two completely different countries? And through it all, can she and Layla build a bridge between them?

    Why McWilliams wrote Your Plantation Prom is Not Okay:
    Periodically, a celebrity of some kind gets married on a plantation. It hits the news, people express outrage, an apology is or is not made…and then somehow we all forget about it and the cycle starts over again. From the perspective of a novelist, that's both fascinating and horrifying. Grown adults continue to disrespect historical sites and worse, some schools in the South still host proms at old plantations, perpetuating that culture. When someone pretends that a plantation is about love and good old-fashioned family values, it keeps us on very different wavelengths. For me, as an often white-presenting person, I’ve been running smack into that other wavelength my whole life. No matter our race, we all need to grieve the legacy of slavery to move forward.