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Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

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Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar


Not too long ago I sat in a kindergarten classroom while the history of George Washington was taught. The same old repeated stories were told to this classroom of young children that I heard as a child: he had wooden teeth, he cut down an apple tree, he was the father of our country. My son once sat in that same classroom and heard those same stories A year later he would take a field trip to Mount Vernon and see the home of the famous George Washington. Now, my son was taught about slavery but not in connection with the first president. So, as he learned more about those who had been enslaved like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, I made sure to also inform him that when he went to Mount Vernon, he was also visiting a slave plantation that housed hundreds of enslaved people within its acreage. He was shocked, mortified and sad. They hadn’t showed him at the tender of age …

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

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Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite


Alaine was being sent to Haiti as punishment. Well, sort of. She was getting out of the line of fire after a really dramatic school presentation that almost resulted in the death of another student. In all honesty Alaine was just trying to highlight one of the events that ignited the Hatian revolution, with interesting theatrics. It was a part of her history and she wanted to put on a show! She had been suspended, instead of expelled, and was going to conduct not only independent studies but would also be interning under her aunt, the Minister of Tourism of Haiti. But Alaine would also have the chance to bond with her mother, who she hasn’t lived with in years and has a somewhat strained relationship with. What Alaine doesn’t know is that she could possibly end the curse that has been affecting her family since Haiti won its independence. This was a mix of quite a few things but most importantly this book was fun. There’s hum…

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

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Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron



Arrah doesn’t have magic. She can see it as it comes to the others at the gathering of the five Heka tribes at the Blood Moon festival but it flees from her touch. Even though her mother is the Ka-Priestess of Tara, her grandmother the Chieftan of the Tribe Aatiri and her father an edam of the Tribe Aatiri as well, she has never known magic. Each year she has watched, angry and with less hope, as the magic passes her by. She knows there’s other ways to get magic but trading years of her life to obtain it would make her a charlatan. It would dishonor her and her family and she would never know how much of her life was taken until it was too late. But when children begin to go missing, she feels as if she has no choice but to give some of her life if it means saving others. This story is complicated. It contains magic, gods, demons, legacy and family drama. This might be one of the most intense mother and daughter relationships I’ve ever read. And the cons…

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

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Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson


When Claudia returned home from spending the summer with her grandmamma the first person, she asked about was Monday. They usually exchanged letters over the summer, since neither has a cellphone, and Monday hadn’t responded to any of Claudia’s letter. But even now that she was back, Monday was nowhere to be found. Her number wasn’t working, and she wasn’t at school the first day, or the day after that. Weeks went by and no one had seen Monday. Monday’s mom claimed she was with her father while her sister claimed she was with an aunt. No one even bothered answering questions about August, Monday’s little brother. Claudia’s mother thought she may simple have moved like her family. Claudia’s father thought that maybe they two eighth graders were growing apart. But no one understood that Monday would have never left Claudia like that. And Claudia was left navigating the world without her best, and only friend. As the months went by the only one wh…

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

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There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon


Rishi has always been the traditional Patel brother, steadfast in family tradition and trying his hardest to be a good son. He even encouraged his parents to arrange a marriage for him. Ashish was nothing like Rishi. Deadset on blazing his own path through life, he dated who he wanted, shunned tradition and had dedicated his life to one thing, basketball. But when his heart is broken and his mojo completely crushed, he gives the idea of letting his parents set him up with an Indian girl a shot. Sweetie is also an athlete. She is one of the fastest runners at her high school and has her sights set on running in college. When Ashish’s mom approaches Sweetie’s mother with the prospect of the two dating, she’s immediately stunned. Not because of the Patel family’s reputation, which is in good standing in the community, but because Sweetie’s mom is worried that her weight would cause her to be the source of ridicule. But Sweetie has no proble…

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

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On The Come Up by Angie Thomas


When Bri walked into the Ring that night, she knew she had to deliver. She couldn’t walk through those doors, Law’s daughter and not deliver in this rap battle. Deliver she did and while she get some traction on YouTube, it’s nothing compared to the love she gets after she releases her first recording, “On The Come Up.” But people are taking her words and twisting them. She’s not advocating violence against the police. She’s not the girl with clips on her waist. She is the girl labeled aggressive for doing the simplest things like rolling her eyes. She is the girl with a father who was gunned down and a mother who years ago had to battle a drug addiction. She is Bri and the world is finding out who she is at the same time Bri is.

I just finished this book, blazed through over 400 pages like it was nothing. I couldn’t put this down. Thomas brought Bri and the people in Garden Heights to life in such a stunning way that I couldn’t stop reading. Bri’s voice …

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

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If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin


I’m trying to process what I just read, while I write this review. I am a sack of emotions and it would make no sense trying to lie to anyone about it. This is the story of Tish and Fonny. It begins with Tish visiting Fonny in jail, telling him that she carries his child. From there we learn of their story, how they have always belonged to and eventually loved one another. How her family became his family and how they planned on becoming a family. But within the pages of this book we learn of how families can function but be dysfunctional, how the legal system can and in some ways is meant to break you and how love, the love we have for each other can be the only thing that gives us hope. There were moments when the writing in this book took my breath away. It is beautiful. It is romantic. It is full of just this amplified love between two people, and reading about that love was amazing. Then there were moments when I was full of anger becaus…