BOTW: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson takes the reader throughout a small town’s history via a resurrected treasure hunt, multiple family dynamics, and the emotions that  Middle School aged children endure.


This summer tale begins with Candice trying to deal with spending time in a small town while understanding her new normal with divorced parents. She meets a local boy named Brandon that shares her love of books and ends up being a helpful assistant on her journey. After finding a hidden letter addressed to her late grandmother, Candice strives to solve the puzzle and clear her family’s name. While learning some local history, the team encounters old feelings by community elders. Some conversations reveal the hatred and racism that still linger. Eventually, the pain of revenge and love lost leads the children to the truth about the city.


It is also important to note that this book does discuss racism, bullying, and divorce. There are also conversations and questions about Brandon, the young boy, and Candice’s father’s lifestyles. In my opinion, the home must be a safe space where any issue can be thoroughly discussed. Though topics covered in this book are viewed as common, I still strongly encourage parents to read through it before and with their children. Part of the preparation for adulthood includes explaining what to do or how to respond to all situations, especially the themes mentioned in this book. If you are teaching a Biblical Worldview in your homeschool, create discussion questions that allow you to explore what God says about each theme. Remember, it is not a matter of IF these conversations will be had among your children’s peers, but WHEN! By making time to read or listen to an occasional book like this, you create opportunities to discuss each topic thoroughly with characters similar to people your children have already met.


I read this aloud with my oldest Bear, after reading it by myself first. I think the mystery of the treasure hunt was a great way to connect the timelines. We enjoyed learning more about the characters as their stories intertwine to create the ultimate love story. When the aforementioned topics came up throughout the book, we used that time to talk about it. Just as the book used two timelines to tell the story, I also suggest sharing your personal experiences from Middle School as you talk with your child. Both my son and I both recommend this book, solely with parental supervision, for children ages 12 and up.

Check out last week’s book here:

Each time we finish a new book, I immediately share that information on Goodreads. Follow our family reading journey by clicking the photo above.

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Happy reading,
Ta’Neisha K.

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