When Mr. Bro. Wiley, Bean's adopted grandfather and the last slave man around, dies in the summer of 1940, Bean and his very best friend Pole are some kind of hurt. Everyone in the Low Meadows is. Despite their grief, they are proud and excited to be included in their very first Sittin' Up - a wake for the dead. Bean and Pole know this special week will be one to remember, especially if the coming storm has its way and riles up Ole River enough to flood the Low Meadows right in the middle of Mr. Bro. Wiley's Sittin' Up.