This book begins with a death. Bean, who is proud to be almost 13 is grieving the death of the oldest man in the county, former slave, Mr. Bro. Wiley. Mr. Bro. Wiley was like a father to Bean’s mother, a mentor to many people in the area, and a respected member of the community. Bean and his best friend, Pole, are happy that they are at least old enough to be at the sittin’ up for Mr. Bro. Wiley. The story follows the events from the death through all of the preparations for the sittin’ up and the funeral, some of which is completely unexpected. The odd part of this story for me was that it actually seemed more humorous than sad, and I’m not really sure if that was the author’s intent. Kids who like historical novels may like this book.