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Trouble on the Tombigbee

Ted M. Dunagan

NewSouth Books
$21.95 hardcover
5 ½ x 8 ½  
208 pages
August 2011

Ted Dunagan’s third young-adult novel continues the story of boyhood friends Ted and Poudlum, a white boy and a black boy who live in the rural segregated South of the 1940s. Ted and Poudlum are in for more adventures as they find themselves on a fishing trip interrupted by criminal activity. They camp out in the vicinity of a Ku Klux Klan meeting and accidentally learn the identity of key Klansmen. Discovered, they use their wits to escape down the river, only to swim into the arms of more trouble.

Great pacing and Dunagan’s narrative storytelling gifts make this an engaging read in which Ted and Poudlum again enjoy the thrill of engagement with the adult world even as they celebrate the pleasures of just being kids. Their escapades test their resourcefulness and challenge their awakening moral selves, as each bend in the river causes them to wonder about the right thing to do—a question that, remarkably, they do not need to ask about their own friendship. Being a kid was never better than how Ted Dunagan imagines it. And the imagining has never been better than in Trouble on the Tombigbee.


  • Winner of the Augusta Literary Festival's 2013 Frank Yerby Award


“With deft and precise language, Ted Dunagan tells a story that is both beautifully wrought and unsparing in its portrayal of all that was good and bad in Dixie.”
—Adrian Fogelin, author of Crossing Jordan
“Ted Dunagan convincingly captures the South of the late 1940s. In his moving story, he shows through the experience of a young boy how friendship can triumph over prejudice. Good reading!” —Faye Gibbons, author of Night in the Barn