Kelly McWilliams presents 'Your Plantation Prom Is Not Okay'

This sharp-witted, timely novel explores cancel culture, anger, and grief, and challenges the romanticization of America's racist past with humor and heart.


Third Place Books welcomes local YA author Kelly McWilliams for a discussion of her new book, Your Plantation Prom Is Not Okay. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.

This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

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About Your Plantation Prom Is Not Okay . . .

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?
 

Praise for Your Plantation Prom Is Not Okay. . .

“McWilliams pens a touching story about grief, compassion for one’s ancestors, and one teen’s pursuit of justice in this thoughtfully rendered telling, which interrogates the romanticization of Black pain and the pros and cons of social media activism."
Publishers Weekly

"McWilliams’ portrayal of grief is well written and appropriately nuanced; readers will feel angry and sad and will cheer for Harriet all at the same time. The book’s confrontation of the romanticization of plantations and present-day medical neglect of the Black community is not only important, but necessary."
Kirkus Reviews 


Kelly McWilliams is a mixed-race writer. She is the author of Mirror Girls and Agnes at the End of the World. She lives in Seattle with her family.


Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.


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