Monique Harris

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Review of Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Michele Wood Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    56 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-7636-9156-1    $17.99 “I entered the world a slave…I was a slave because my countrymen had made it lawful, in utter contempt of the declared will of heaven.” Our...

Review of Not So Pure and Simple

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles High School    HarperTeen    391 pp. 1/20    978-0-06-234919-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-234921-7    $9.99 Del’s forever crush on schoolmate Kiera comes to a head when she finally becomes single in their junior year of high school. Del is poised to do whatever it takes...

Review of Jackpot

Jackpot by Nic Stone High School    Crown    341 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-9848-2962-7    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-9848-2963-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-2964-1    $10.99 School, work, home; repeat. Such is the life of Rico, high school senior, part-time convenience-store clerk, and full-time caregiver to her nine-year-old brother. In Rico’s life, there is not...

Review of Genesis Begins Again

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    386 pp.    g 1/19    978-1-4814-6580-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6582-3    $10.99 Regina and the popular girls are coming over after school to hang out, eat snacks, and watch music videos. It’s a dream day for thirteen-year-old Genesis. That is, until she...

Review of Sulwe

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o; illus. by Vashti Harrison Preschool, Primary    Simon    48 pp. 10/19    978-1-5344-2536-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2537-8    $10.99 In a story partially based on the author’s childhood in Kenya, “Sulwe was born the color of midnight.” So begins a journey to self-love for a little girl whose name...

Review of Light It Up

Light It Up by Kekla Magoon Middle School, High School    Holt    359 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-250-12889-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-12890-4    $9.99 In this follow-up to How It Went Down (rev. 11/14), Peach Street is seething. Two years after a young man was gunned down by police on the same street,...

The Undefeated

“This is for the unforgettable / The swift and sweet ones / who hurdled history / and opened a world / of possible.” From the opening lines of Kwame Alexander’s poem, readers are invited on a journey. It is a journey through a people’s story — through the sorrows, triumphs, and resilience...

Review of Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir by Nikki Grimes High School    Wordsong/Boyds Mills    325 pp. 10/19    978-1-62979-881-3    $19.99 As poetically written as Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming (rev. 9/14) with a story as hard-hitting as Sapphire’s Push. In her author’s note, poet Grimes (winner of the 2017 Children’s Literature Legacy Award) says that...

Review of Saturday

Saturday  by Oge Mora; illus. by the author  Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.    g  10/19    978-0-316-43127-9    $18.99  e-book ed.  978-0-316-43126-2    $9.99  Mora (Thank You, Omu!, rev. 11/18) follows up her Caldecott Honor winner with another story built around family and community connection. On Saturdays, Ava and her mother (who...

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