Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Crossing Jordan

by Adrian Fogelin
illustrated by Suzy Schultz

This moving, coming-of-age story follows a young white girl who overcomes family prejudice and cultural differences when she befriends a black girl in a small working-class town.

Twelve-year-old Cassie narrates the dramatic events that unfold when Jemmie, an African-American girl, and her family move in next door. Despite their parents’ deeply held prejudice against each other’s family—exemplified by the fence Cassie’s father builds between their two houses—the girls find they share more similarities than differences. Mutual interests in reading and running draw them together, and their wariness of each other disappears. But when their parents find out about the burgeoning friendship, each girl is forbidden to see the other. A family crisis and celebration provide opportunities for the families to reach an understanding.

Author Adrian Fogelin addresses the complex issues of bigotry and tolerance with sensitivity and intelligence. Readers will find her story of how two adolescent girls, through their own example, teach racial tolerance to the adults in a small Florida town powerful and compelling.

Hardcover: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-215-6
Total Pages: 160
Size: 6 x 9
Language: English
Paperback: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-281-1
Total Pages: 152
Size: 6 x 9
Language: English
Format: E-book
ISBN: 978-1-56145-603-1
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this E-book through the following vendors:


Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 47147
AR Reading Level: 4.5
AR Points: 7

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: X
F&P Grade: 6

Reading Counts
Reading Counts Level: 5.9
Reading Counts Points: 12
Reading Counts Interest Level: 6-8


“In this sensitive portrait of black-white relations in a changing neighborhood, Fogelin offers a tactful, evenhanded look at prejudice.” ―USA Today

“Fogelin creates Cass and Jemmie as complex characters with the same differences of approach and personality that mark the interactions of other best friends, whatever their skin color. Cass’ straightforward voice never falters, even when she questions her father’s beliefs and her own decisions. Readers will appreciate the honesty of Fogelin’s approach and applaud the two girls in their fast friendship.” ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“…Jemmie and Cass are likable, lively characters, and readers will enjoy the repartee between them.” ―School Library Journal

“Old experiences and lifelong attitudes are hard to overcome, as Adrian Fogelin deftly demonstrates in her portrayal of Cass’ dad and Jemmie’s mom. Fogelin’s characters are complex, fallible, and loving, as are real people, making Crossing Jordan an engrossing coming-of-age story….” ―Orange County Register


Best Books for Young Adults ―YALSA 2001

Notable Books for a Global Society (Honor Book) ―International Reading Association 2001

Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers ―VOYA 2000

Children’s Literature Choice List (longer books with more sophisticated themes for middle readers) ―Children’s Literature 2001

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Children’s Books Mean Business ―American Booksellers Association and Children’s Book Council Joint Committee 2003

Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association 2001

Sequoyah Book Awards (Young Adult Masterlist) ―Oklahoma Library Association 2002-2003

Sunshine State Young Readers’ Award (nominee grades 3-8) ―FAME 2002-2003

Garden State Teen Book Award (nominee) ―New Jersey Library Association 2003

Selected Book for Florida ―National Book Festival 2003

Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award (masterlist) ―Illinois Reading Council, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, Illinois School Library Media Association 2003

Just Read, Florida! Summer Recommended Reading List ―Florida Department of Education 2003, 2009-2011

Georgia Children’s Book Award (nominee) ―University of Georgia 2001

South Carolina Children’s Book Award (nominee) ―South Carolina Association of School Librarians 2002-2003

Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Awards (nominee) ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association 2003-2004

Maud Hart Lovelace Award (nominee, grades 3-8) ―Minnesota Youth Reading Awards 2004-2005

For Teens, by Teens: Teens Recommended Reading List ―Just Read, Florida! 2011

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Meet the Author

Adrian Fogelin is the author of several novels for middle readers and young adults, including Crossing Jordan and The Real Question. She lives in Florida. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Suzy Schultz is an illustrator and fine artist. She lives in Georgia.