"Three unlikely friends find themselves enmeshed in an adventure of intrigue and danger that seems to grow bigger by the day. With its colorful prose, exciting plot, and rich historical context, this novel successfully manages to embed an important reminder of the deep South before the Civil Rights era into an entertaining action-packed story. Thoroughly ingrained into the plot line are some important economic principles related to poverty, decent wages, and property rights. This engrossing book is sure to please even the most discerning of readers.
Florence Times Daily
"A Yellow Watermelon is reminiscent of some of the best Southern books. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain immediately comes to mind, as does Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird."
Don Noble, Alabama Public Radio
"A Yellow Watermelon has some nice characterization and local color of what folks eat, work songs in the field, ordering school clothes from the Sears and Roebuck catalog, but also plenty of action. I think this is more than enough plot action to satisfy a young reader."
The Anniston Star
"If you have a young adult in your house who likes to read, or one who doesn’t like to read but who you think might if it is the right book, here is what you’re looking for -- A Yellow Watermelon.
Adrian Fogelin, author of Crossing Jordan and The Sortta Sisters
"With deft and precise language Ted Dunagan tells a story that is both beautifully wrought and unstinting in its portrayal of all that was good and bad in Dixie.
Don Noble, Alabama Public Radio
"Secret of the Satilfa includes a number of what might be called teachable moments. The novel seems situated squarely in its genre. This is a nicely paced story with excitement, nostalgia and a tolerable number of lesson worth learning."
Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences
"In Secret of the Saltifa, the boys' cascading exploits and the deep historical context cleverly wraps an important lesson about segregation and racial inequality into an enjoyable story. The reader is reminded that money can serve as a powerful incentive, especially for two steadfast friends with some inside information as to where it may be hidden."
A Yellow Watermelon received the 2009 Georgia Author of the Year Award in the Young Adult category in a ceremony held June 13, 2009 at the Kennesaw State University Center in Kennesaw, Georgia, hosted by the Georgia Writers Association. This award is the oldest literary competition in the southeast. Submissions are evaluated for their narrative quality, creativity, enduring message and ability to evoke emotion. Katherine Mason, Assistant Professor of English at KSU and lead judge of the Young Adult category said, “A Yellow Watermelon reveals the power of friendship and loyalty to overcome racial and economic prejudice in 1940’s Alabama. Told from twelve-year-old Ted Dillon’s point of view, the story is suspenseful and captivating, with authentic dialogue and engaging sentence variety.”
Georgia Author of the Year, 2011
Ted M. Dunagan was honored with his second Georgia Author of the Year Award for Young Adult Fiction for his novel Secret of the Satilfa in an award ceremony held June 11 at the KSU Center in Kennesaw, Georgia. Katherine Mason, Assistant Professor of English Education at Wichita State University and lead judge of the Young Adult category, commented, “Dunagan’s engaging writing style and language choices allow him to depict seemingly small events in rich detail (e.g., the thrill and danger of the Spinning Jenny; the smells, tastes, and textures of home cooked food; the boys’ apparent ease of setting up camp and catching, cleaning, and frying fish on an open fire). Young adults and adults alike will enjoy tagging along on another of Ted and Poudlum’s adventures in Secret of the Satilfa.”
Georgia Author of the Year, 2012
In 2012, the Georiga Writers Association recognized Ted Dunagan as a Georgia Author of the Year for his third book, Trouble on the Tombigbee. This is the third time Dunagan has been awarded Georgia Author of the Year for his "Ted and Poudlum" series.
Augusta Literary Festival Yerby Award
Ted Dunagan won the 2013 Augusta Literary Festival Yerby Award for Fiction for his young adult novel Trouble on the Tombigbee. The Yerby Award is named for pioneering African American novelist Frank Yerby, author of The Foxes of Harrow, The Golden Hawk, and The Saracen Blade. The award was presented on March 2, 2013 to Mr. Dunagan by Gerald Yerby, the nephew of Frank Yerby, in what Mr. Dunagan describes as “one of highlights of his life as a writer,” adding “to have my work associated with Frank Yerby, a writer who left such a great body of timeless and classic work, is an honor.”
Accelerated Reader Title
A Yellow Watermelon was selected as an Accelerated Reader Title in the fall of 2009 by Renaissance Learning with a points level of nine. Learning guides, along with level, interest, and points (9) may be found at: http://www.renlearn.com/store/quiz_home.asp
"25 Books Every Young Georgian Should Read"
In August of 2010, the Georgia Center for the Book selected A Yellow Watermelon to their inaugural list of the 25 books every young person in Georgia should read.
Secret of the Satilfa was nominated for the 2010 Christopher Award.