Jesmyn ward wrote Sing Unburied sing, a novel about a 13-year-old boy named Jojo. Kayla is inspired by Jojo’s parental role because her mother, Leonie does not do much to help them. Jojo is living with his grandparents. Jojo’s grandmother is bedridden and unable to be active due to cancer. Jojo is a father figure because of their grandpa.
The book opens with the birthday of Jojo. You get your first glimpse into the poverty in the family as Jojo and her pops kill a goat to eat. It shows the poverty of their family because they can’t buy food like most people. Instead, they have to kill animals. Michael, Leonie’s prison-bound boyfriend, also appears. But after Jojo hears a story of a prisoner friend that Pops met, Ritchie’s, the story foreshadows Michael’s eventual release. Leonie’s boyfriend Michael is in prison, and pops tells Jojo about a friend he met there. Ritchie. This story foreshadows the release of Michael. Kayla or Jojo are not aware of the reason for the brief stop they make at a close friend’s home on the road to prison. Jojo discovers his mom’s addiction as he walks around the house.
As they head back to their home, the cops stop them. Ritchies ghost tells Jojo to be careful because they’ll put him in chains. The cops release them despite this and allow them to return home. Jojo discovers that Ritchies spirit was already stuck in the prison when he first went there. Ritchie, then, asks Jojo for the location of pops in an attempt to learn how he was killed. Pops tells Ritchie that while he and blue were trying to escape prison, blue raped the white woman. When the cops finally caught up with them they skinned blue’s arms and legs.
Leonie becomes very depressed after learning her mother died of cancer. She then goes to Michael’s house and does meth in order to relieve the stress. This leaves Jojo, Kayla and Kayla all alone. Kayla is singing in the last scene of this book.