Monique Harris

12 Articles

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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...

What Is Given from the Heart

In this posthumous offering from author Patricia C. McKissack, young James Otis and his mother are experiencing hard times: James Otis's father has died; they have lost their farm; their rundown new house floods; James Otis's dog disappears. The two things they have been able to hold onto are their faith and each other. In...

Review of My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi; illus. by Anthony Piper Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    252 pp.    g 8/19    978-0-3991-8735-3    $16.99 In the summer before seventh grade, in 1984, Ebony-Grace Norfleet Freeman — also known as E-Grace Starfleet, space cadet, in the comics she imagines — is...

Review of Let Me Hear a Rhyme

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson; with lyrics by Malik “Malik-16” Sharif High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    380 pp. 5/19    978-0-06-284032-5    $17.99    e-book ed.  978-0-06-284034-9    $9.99 It’s 1998, and hip-hop reigns supreme on the music charts and in the streets of Brooklyn. Unfortunately, the violence plaguing the community claims...

Field Notes: A Family Affair: Connecting Community to Books

On a rainy day in July 2017, a group of teachers, librarians, and community activists gathered at Frugal Bookstore, Boston’s only Black-owned bookstore, to participate in a discussion of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give (which would go on to be named a 2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor...

Review of Monday's Not Coming

Monday’s Not Comingby Tiffany D. JacksonMiddle School, High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    440 pp.5/18    978-0-06-242267-5    $17.99e-book ed. 978-0-06-242269-9    $9.99It’s the end of the summer before eighth grade, and Claudia can’t wait to see her best friend, Monday. When she doesn’t hear from Monday in the days leading up to school, Claudia is...

Review of The Bell Rang

The Bell Rangby James E. Ransome; illus. by the authorPrimary, Intermediate     Dlouhy/Atheneum     40 pp.1/19     978-1-4424-2113-4     $17.99e-book ed. 978-1-4814-7671-3     $10.99“The bell rings, / and no sun in the sky. / Daddy gathers wood. / Mama cooks. / We eat.” Ransome paints a heartbreaking picture of an enslaved family existing within the...

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