Book Review: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

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Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, tells the story a Emira Tucker, a 25 year-old black woman who is accused of kidnapping the three- year old white girl that she’s babysitting. The story beings when Emira is out on the town at a club one night with her friends. Shaunie, Zara and Josefa. While at the club Emira receives a call from her thirty something white employer Alix Chamberlaine, Although it’s the middle of the night and Emira has been drinking Mrs. Chamberlain convinces her to come to the house and taken her daughter Briar to the local gourmet grocery store. While at the upper class grocery store a security guard is alerted that “there is a suspicious black girl” in the store with a white child. All hell breaks lose and Emira is forced to prove her innocent all while the entire incident is being recorded. Alix is horrified and feels responsible and is burdened by guilt sets out to “make things right”.

This story is about race relations and people’s desire to appear “liberal and woke”. The great thing about the book is that this message doesn’t come off as preachy. The story and the people feel real. There’s a nice mix of romance and a lot of turns and turns in the plot that kept me hooked. I really enjoyed this book and I know you will too. #kiley reid # adult fiction

Children’s Book Review: Sule the Proverbs Detective by Rene Rawls

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I came across this amazing children’s book this week. It’s called Sule the Proverbs Detective. The book centers on the life of Sule, a 10 year old detective who uses proverbs to solve problems. This unique book introduces readers to the meaning of proverbs and to daily life in Africa with its beautiful and colorful illustrations of an African market.

When the story begins Sule’s friend Fara is planning a party. She’s overwhelmed because she has a long list of items to buy for her party. Sule tells her “when spider webs unite they can catch a lion”. Fara has no idea what Sules means by his proverb but before she knows it Sule grabs Fara’s list and sets off to solve her problem.

There are a lot of things I love about this book. I love the idea of Sule helping children understand proverbs. I think it’s a unique approach to a detective story. While Fara is on her journey to find out what Sule is up to, the readers have the unique experience to be detectives help Fara find the items for her party. It reminds me of the Highlights magazine that I used to read as a child. I loved being able to hunt for the “hidden” objects within the illustrated pages of the magazine. The book brings together storytelling and a puzzle that readers can help the characters solve. This children’s book that should be on every child’s bookshelf.

Teen YA book Review- Cousins by Karen McManus

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I’ve just finished reading Cousins by Karen McManus. The book focuses on the lives of three cousins, Milly, Aubrey and Jonah who meet up for the first time, after they receive a mysterious letter from their estranged grandmother inviting them to spend the summer working at the family’s elite resort on Gull Island. Gull Island is a a island off the coast of Massachusetts. The three cousins have very different personalities. Milly is the outgoing, witty fashionista who enjoys being the center of attention. Aubrey is the shy champion swimmer who is dealing with her parents impending divorce and a boyfriend who ends up being MIA after she arrives on Gull Island. Last but not least there’s Jonah, a good looking awkward genius who is a loner with a crappy disposition.

The cousins parents are as different as they are. Milly’s mom was the beautiful, and needy carving attention from a boyfriend who rejected her after they hooked up. Aubrey’s dad, Adam was a self-centered ladies man who loves only himself. Jonah’s father, Anders is a disgraced financial adviser who took his clients for a ride.

The book flashed back and forth between present day when the cousins meet up and discover that there’s something array with their grandmother and realize that there many family secrets that need to be uncovered. Just Mc Manus’s previous books there’s romance and intrigue as the cousins work together to solve of the mystery of why their grandmother disowned their parents. You’re going to love this book.

Book Review: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

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This book isn’t YA but Wow it’s so good! I’ve always wondered what makes a book a New York Times bestseller and when you read this book you’ll understand why it is. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, is the story of twin sisters Desiree and Stella Vignes. The girls live in the southern town of Mallard. A town where light-skinned black people chose to have their own community, not just separate from white people, but also separate from other black people whose skin isn’t as light as theirs. The people in this town pride themselves as almost being white.

One day the sisters decide to leave town without telling anyone. One sisters finds a job working in a a laundry and the other sister finds a job as a secretary after the woman interviewing her mistakes her for a white woman. Stella takes the mistake as an opportunity to leave her life as a black woman behind and in doing so she also abandons her sister and everyone she knows in order to start her new life with her new racial identity. Over the years we see how the lives of both sisters evolve. I would write more because I love this book so much but I don’t want to end up writing spoilers.

The book focuses on race, identify, and how people that struggle to define themselves and also who they chose to be.The writing is so beautiful and emotional. It’s a great book and one worth reading for any lovers or books. I think this book is the kind of book that can help you understand what great writing is all about.

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Teen Writing Prompt 906

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There are a few things coming up. DV Pit in April, Pitch Wars. 2020 was a challenging year but why don’t we begin this year sticking to our writing goals?

I’m reading The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. It’s about twin sisters who decide to leave their rural farming town and start a new life. One sisters decides to “become white” and the other eventually returns home but can’t let go of her sisters so she sends a detective to find her.

The story is set in the late 1960’s. The girls live in a town where everyone is Halle Berry light skin. So light that many of them look white. This story focuses a lot of racial issues within the black race as well as racism towards black.

Write a story about your character taking on a new identity and a new life. Why would your character do this? What is he or she running from? Is it abusive parents? Boyfriend? Danger that is supernatural or somethings else? Be creative and have some fun.

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Teen Book Review: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

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I just finished reading Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. The novel tells the story of two sisters, Camino, a young girl living in the Dominican Republic and Yahaira, a chess champion who lives in New York City. After a plane traveling to the Dominican Republic crashes killing their father the girls discovers that their father had a another life that included a secret family.

Although the girls the same age and share the same father their lives are very different. Camino lives with her aunt after her mother died when she was young. She attends a private International School in the Dominican Republic and dreams of one day attending to Columbia University and becoming a doctor. Life in the DR is difficult and becomes more challenging after her father dies.

Yahaira on the other hand lives in New York City with her mother and father. Yahaira was a chess prodigy but gave up playing chess. She has a girlfriend named Dre. Early in the story Yahaira finds her father’s second marriage certificate and decides to keep it a secret from her mother. Once the girls father dies in a plane crash all the secrets are revealed and both girls find out about each other. Camino contacts Yahaira and Yahaira decides to secretly travel to the DR in order to bury her father.

The story is told from the prospective of both girls. This is the second novel I’ve read by Elizabeth Acevedo and it’s written in spoken word, just like her first novel Poet X. Clap When You Land is a beautiful coming of age story that everyone needs to read. It’s magical.

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Teen Writing Prompt 905

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I am in the midst of reading Clap When you Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. The story is about two girls , Camino who lives in the Dominican Republic and Yahaira who lives in New York City. The girls live opposite lives Camino is fair skinned, poor, very religious, and attends a prestigious prep school in the Dominican Republic.. She works with her aunt to help the sick while she’s trying to stay clear of trouble in the form of a pimp named El Cero who has his eye on her.

Camino is a former chess champ. Why she’s left chess behind is still a mystery at this point in the book. Camine just coasts through school. The one thing she’s passional about is her girlfriend Dre. The story focuses on how both girls deal with the loss of their mutual father, who dies in a plane crash in the first few chapters of the novel. The review will be posted soon.

Write a story about opposite characters brought together through a tragic event. What is the tragedy and how do these characters meet.