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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin


Yeine Darr was never looking to rule. She only came to Sky by request of her grandfather, Dekatur Arameri, a man she had never set eyes on before. Yeine’s mother had abdicated the throne and left for the North to be with Yeine’s father. Now both of her parents were dead, she was the ruler of the Darr in the North but considered a barbarian. But when she kneeled in front of her grandfather and he recognized her as kin, she knew other things were at play. Yeine didn’t realize it would be a fight for the throne and she didn’t realize the gods enslaved to the Arameri were involved and that her life was a stake. I was not prepared for this book to start off the way that it did. I’ve read Jemisin before so I was expecting amazing world building, an intense and intricate plot and beautiful writing. But she came out in the first chapter hitting readers with a dark chaotic action sequence that put Yeine’s life at risk in the most disturbing way poss…

The Black Rose by Tananarive Due

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The Black Rose by Tananarive Due


Have you ever wondered about the life of Madam CJ Walker? Well, of course you’ve heard of her. Without her we would have never had pressing combs and our scalps would have more than likely been a mess. Madam CJ Walker built an empire around Black women’s hair care products. The Black Rose is a historical fiction based on the life of Madam CJ Walker, born Sarah Breedlove. Due used research conducted by Alex Haley and created this novel which looks at the many trials, tribulations and successes experience in both love, family and business by Madam CJ Walker. After reading the first few pages, I knew this would be a novel I really enjoyed, because Due is a beautiful writer. She creates detailed worlds with her words, sewing the atmosphere, culture and scenery together in a way that transports readers to that time and place. I felt like I was with Walker as she traveled through the streets in her luxury vehicle and again when she lost her parents and was fo…

The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake

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The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake



I’m making it a point to read classics written by Black authors this year and The Skin I’m In is the first for this year. It’s the story of Maleeka, a young girl in seventh grade who is constantly harassed because of the darkness of her skin and bullied because she’s poor. She is constantly being manipulated by other girls in her grade and it’s taking a toll. When a new teacher comes to her school, with a scarred face the kids find another target. But this teacher, Ms. Saunders, takes a liking to Maleeka. Intimidated and angered by this at first, Maleeka rejects her kindness. Overtime things change but Maleeka has to find her own strength before she can stand up to her abusers. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf screaming to be read for at least a year. Now that I’ve read it, I have a lot of emotions. This book is so painful because it hints at the worst part of people and how some of those traits can appear in young people. Kids can be cruel.…

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

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Uglies by Scott Westerfield



After spending four years with other Uglies in a dormitory, pulling all kinds of tricks, you finally grow up and become a Pretty on your sixteenth birthday. That’s what Talla had been looking forward too. Her best friend Peris was three months older than her, living lavishly in New Pretty Town, going to fancy parties, dressing up and having the time of his life. Alone and lonely, that was when Talla met Shay. Shay would turn sixteen the same day Talla would! But Shay wasn’t sure if she wanted to be a Pretty. And the stories she told Talla about a place where your looks didn’t matter, where you could live without looking pretty like everyone else, seemed appalling to her. But when Shay runs away Talla might not have a choice of whether or not she wants to be a Pretty. Someone might have just stripped that choice away. This new world Westerfield created where you become a Pretty and everything is perfect, everyone looks the same, no troubles, no care is downr…

Let me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson with lyrics by Malik "Malik-16" Sharif

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Let me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson with lyrics by Malik "Malik-16" Sharif


They had no idea if this plan would really work. Steph was dead but that didn’t mean his memory had to be. All the tapes he had under his bed, the cd they found, the notebooks filled with lyrics all seemed like possibilities to Steph’s two best friends Jarrell and Quadir and his little sister Jasmine. It gave Jarrell and Quadir a chance to put their best friend on the map. And Jasmine only agreed to help if they promised to help find out who killed her big brother. They had a chance to make Steph a legend, a star. But there were so many things they didn’t know about Steph and there was no way they could have known how dangerous his lyrics could be.
Everyone handles grief in different ways and I find it very interesting the way these three characters handle their grief by continuing to love and honor their friend through his novel. This is as much a novel about three teenagers dealing with grief a…

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

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The Crossover by Kwame Alexander


I am absolutely loving the amount of Middle Grade/Young Adult novels that I am seeing in verse. In the hands of capable authors like Kwame Alexander they are absolutely extraordinary. This is the first novel I’ve read by Alexander and needless to say I plan on eventually owning them all if any of them are anywhere near the level of skill that is on display in this one. The Crossover is the story of twelve-year old Josh Ball, the only kid his age that can dunk. He’s on the same team as his very talented twin brother Jordan. Their mom is the assistant principal at their school, so their education is just as important as their skills on the court. And their dad, now retired, once played on a championship European team. While Josh has his eyes on a championship, Jordan only has eyes for his girlfriend. With the two seemingly longing for different things, a fracture occurs that not only affects the family, but the team. This book was good because as much as …

How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee

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How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee


This is a story about family. It’s a story about war. It’s a story about surviving. A story about living after loss. It’s a story of healing and a story about the passing of time. It’s a story of teenage girl taken from her family during World War II and forced to live for years in a brothel as a comfort woman. It’s the story of a women married to a man for decades, who both suffering from the pains of war, never really knew each other or shared their past. It’s the story of a boy whose grandmother left him with a truth that he doesn’t know how to share. This novel takes place in Singapore during both World War II and the early 21st century. It focuses heavily on the atrocities committed by the Japanese during the war and the affect that had on the Chinese communities during and after the war for generations to come. Lee did a beautiful job weaving these stories together and creating these characters. She created such interesting family dynamics that…