Children’s Choice
Book Award
2015/16 winner
juvenile fiction
6 – 8th gradesMy Brother's Story

A competition judge solely by young readers. Sponsored by the Alabama Department of Education/Division of Library Services.

Independent Publisher's
Moonbeam Children’s
Book Award
2015 Gold winner
Pre-Teen Fiction (Mystery)The Dead House

My Brother’s Story has been recognized as a juvenile fiction silver winner in the 17th annual INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards.

Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of writers—published by independent publishers and university presses— whose work stands out from the crowd.

Independent Publisher's IPPY Award 2015 Bronze winner
best juvenile fictionMy Brother's Story

Independent Publisher's
Moonbeam Children’s
Book Award
2014 Silver winner
best chapter book seriesBlackwater Novels Series

Identical twins Johnny and Will are orphaned and separated as toddlers. Johnny is adopted by and abusive aunt. When he grows into boyhood, he runs away and is sheltered by Linc, a reclusive black man who lives deep in the Blackwater Swamp. My Brother’s Story tells of the twins’ adventures as they struggle to reunite.

Rad Fox, a boy who lives on the Blackwater River, and family friend, Dr. Jordan Mason, discover an evil presence at the old Granger House. Johnny and Will come to visit Linc, and Johnny gets deathly ill.

Join Johnny, Will, Rad and Sam when they camp on, and explore Hogg Island, an island in the Blackwater River. In A Nest of Snakes, good people come together to confront the hatred of the Ku Klux Klan.

Sample Below

Audiobook Sample:

My Brother's Story, First Chapter

Adventures for Boys and Girls of All Ages!

The Blackwater Novels will inspire you when good people come together to confront evil. Share the adventures! Explore the dangers and mysteries of the Blackwater Swamp and experience the way your grandparents grew up.As a boy, I believed that my purpose in life was to have fun. I was very good at it. Fun was always spiced up by the possibility of getting into trouble.The boys in the Blackwater novels—Johnny, Will, Rad and Sam—are also good at having fun and sometimes getting into trouble. I hope you will join them!

A Review for My Brother's Story

"My Brother’s Story is an adventure tale that immediately grabs readers’ attention through suspense and a compelling plot. The ending is somewhat predictable, but the plot twists along the way will keep readers engaged. VERDICT: A work of historical fiction for fans of Huck Finn. Readers will find themselves cheering for the brothers in this triumphant story.”

A Review for The Blackwater Novels

"I want to tell you, having read The Dead House and My Brother’s Story, boys and girls and their parents and grandparents are all going to enjoy getting into these stories . . . traditional stories which kids are gonna love, not kids alone, I enjoyed them, more than I can tell you . . . The Dead House . . . the first one I ran across . . . captured my imagination, caught me, pulled me inside . . .”

(Host of Word on Words and Founding Editor USA Today)

— John Seigenthaler

A Review for My Brother's Story

"This is a lovingly told boys’ tale of growing up near woods, swamps and small country towns in the Deep South. But for Rad and Johnny, the young narrators in the book, it’s not just a joyous world of tree houses and lazy rivers, good dogs and lasting friendships. With suspense and drama, their story has an important childhood lesson at its heart: How good men and women, black and white, could stand up to violent, scheming racists in the era of Jim Crow.”

(Cofounder Southern Poverty Law Center)

— Morris Dees


Book Awards


A Message From The Author

In the preface to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain wrote something that applies so perfectly to any Blackwater Novel that I must quote it below. Please read it as if I had written it. I wish I had!

— Allen Johnson Jr.

“Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try pleasantly to remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and of what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in,”

— Mark Twain