Showing posts from May, 2020

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Families are dynamic. Families are unique. Families are fluid. Families are us. Jaqueline Woodson introduces us to a nuanced family story in her lyrical way of dropping nuggets of deep meaning in an offering that is redeeming. This is one story. One family. Yet, so many of us who are African American can resonate with the tale of yearning and acceptance; loss and redemption; belonging and longing. Told through the alternating voices of everyone in this small unit, she gives us a glimpse of the choices we all make when faced with circumstances that may or may not alter the rest of our lives. This is a modern story, yet timeless. It stretches back to wisdom and wit to save a bit, to own one's dreams, and to leave something for the next generation. It is as modern as when I was in college in the mid80s and a young parent in the early 90s. Woodson expertly drops in cultural markers that familiarize this story while keeping its message eternal. It is as much the story of

SLAY by Brittney Morris

I adored this book. She found her way to my shelf almost by accident. I was thinking about what to bring to The Hurston and Hughes Literary Circle for the summer of 2020. It was at the beginning of the school year and I was out shopping, picked up this book somewhere, may have even been in my travels. I was drawn by the strong art on the cover and did a quick glimpse at the back cover to be sure it was a Black female author. Criteria met for the reading circle. Then, she sat on my TBR pile because the start of the school year was a busy one for me. She found her way to me again. It was my daughter's 16th birthday and I was trying to find the perfect book for her. I always give books on birthdays, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. This time, It was purchased on a trip and it was signed by the author, perfect gift for my girl who is beyond brilliant.  Initially she commented, "Mom, you know we have a copy of this right?" I said, "Yes, but not signed." I'm so gla

Ayiti, Cheri - Haitian Heritage Month and a Novel that Celebrates Her

Oh to love your mother, your family, and your ancestral homeland. To want to know her in a deeper way. To yearn and long to discover her secrets, to see behind the polished or even the tarnished. To want so much for something that one runs full speed and figures out any mistakes later. Ah, to have life and love it. Two Haitian American sisters, Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, have given us a gift in their YA novel, Dear Haiti, Love Alaine. It is compelling and inviting, a truly American story, for everyone other than First Nation peoples, has origins in another land. The parts of the land that live in folklore, songs, foods, dances, and memories are the gifts we can pause to celebrate. That is, if we want to reach beyond a homogenized image of what it means to be, and embrace all the complex diversity that is humanity. Even a truly Haitian story with all but a few characters being descendants from the first Independent Black Nation in the Western Hemisphere. That made it un

What Octavia Knew - Parable of the Sower

I almost didn't pick up this book to read it. It has been sitting on my shelf for a while. I have several of her books. It was a matter of principal to me that they be a part of my collection, but hadn't read them yet. My son was actually the one who prompted this. He is at home, like all of us, during Covid19. He asked me for something to read. Since he is also recovering, I thought about what I could send him that would pique his interest and not be too mushy. I reached on my shelf for The Parable of the Sower and realized how much it is like now. It was written in 1993 and set in the future, still waiting to turn on my calendar to 2024, the year my oldest daughter is supposed to graduate from college. We ordered copies to be sent to him of the two books, Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. I think it may have even been a post I saw that was pulled from the Parable of the Talents about if one appoints a fool or coward. I have that one sitting here, waitin