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A Yellow Watermelon

Ted M. Dunagan

NewSouth Books
$17.95 paperback
5 ½ x 7 ½       
239 pages
Published April 2014

In the best Southern literary tradition, A Yellow Watermelon explores poverty and segregation through the eyes of an innocent boy.

In rural south Alabama in 1948, whites pick on one side of the cotton field and blacks on the other. Where the fields come together, 12-year-old Ted Dillon meets Poudlum, a black boy his own age, who teaches him how to endure the hard work while they bond and go on to integrate the field.

Through Poudlum and Jake, an escaped black convict, Ted learns of evil forces gathering to deprive Poudlum’s family of it's property and livelihood. The white boy and the black boy encounter danger and suspense while executing a plan to save Poudlum’s family, set Jake on to a river of freedom, and discover a great, yet simple, secret of enlightenment.

With beguiling prose and an ear for the way people spoke in that time and place, author Ted M. Dunagan brings to life a story so engaging and heartfelt that it will resonate with young and old.


“Ted Dillon’s discovery of the racial double standards of South Alabama during the 1940s and the way he makes tough choices to deal with them reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn. Like those two classics, A Yellow Watermelon is a great read with memorable characters that also tells volumes about the small-town South of the past.” —Billy Moore, author of Little Brother Real Snake and Cracker’s Mule
“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