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Showing posts from August, 2018

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


Told in verse Long Way Down is the story of Will, a fifteen-year-old boy who just lost his brother, Shawn, in a shooting. His mother is in mourning and he is convinced he needs to follow the rules and go after the guy he knows killed Shawn. Grabbing the gun his brother hid in the middle dresser drawer, Will leaves his apartment and takes the most important elevator ride of his life. This book speaks to a certain mentality. A hood mentality. It’s one of the rules in this book, get revenge. The problem with getting revenge is that the cycle never stops. That’s the lesson Will hasn’t learned yet. It’s the lesson all the people that join him in the elevator are trying to teach him. Reynolds laid this theme out so succinctly, never wasting a word, a moment, a page. Not a lot of world building goes into an elevator, yet and still I was in that elevator with Will and quite a bit happens. It’s an incredible and chilling ride, laced with a truth so many young peop…

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

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Dread Nation by Justina Ireland




Dread Nation is an alternate history novel where the Civil War ended because the dead started to rise on the battlefields, biting and infecting the living. The undead plague had begun. It’s been over ten years since the deathless began roaming the Earth and some of the land has been given up for good. The shamblers outnumber the living and they have become such a threat that the land has simply been abandoned. Large cities like Baltimore have built walls protecting themselves. The wealthy hire Attendants from schools like Ms. Preston’s School of Combat where Jane McKeeney, a seventeen-year-old Negro girl is being trained to kill the shamblers. Ever since the Negro and Native Reeducation Act has been passed, all of the Native and Negro children have to learn to fight in order to earn a living. But a family near the school has gone missing and everything isn’t what it seems in Baltimore county. This novel is a lot to take in. The idea that the Civil War en…

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

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Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin



This is the first fiction book that I’ve read by James Baldwin and it was extremely enjoyable. It’s the story of John, a teenage, Black boy living with his family. His father, Gabrielle, is a preacher. His younger brother Roy is known for running around causing trouble. His mother, Elizabeth, stays at home raising his little sister and youngest brother. John tries to be a good child, listening to his mother and helping around the house. But none of his efforts ever satisfy his father, who blames John and his mother for the recklessness he sees in Roy. It’s against this backdrop that we learn about John’s family. We learn of the sins that have gotten their family to where they are now. The sordid history that forced his Aunt Florence to leave the South to find her own way up North, the years that would follow before Gabrielle followed, and how Elizabeth and he came to marry. I hate it when I’ve read a story, truly adored it and can’t come up w…