Coffee Will Make You Black

“Mama, are you a virgin?” When readers first meet Jean “Stevie” Stevenson, she’s an innocent Black girl growing up in 1960s Southside Chicago. In the early 1960s, when Stevie is still young enough to do as she’s told without question, she soaks in a lot of different messages about her culture and the way she looks:Continue reading “Coffee Will Make You Black”

On Divergent, Sex, and Assault

Spoilers & trigger warning after the jump. Beatrice Prior lives in a dystopian Chicago that has been split into five factions based on different virtues: Abnegation, which focuses on selflessness; Erudite, which focuses on intelligence; Dauntless, which focuses on bravery; Candor, which focuses on honesty; and Amity, which focuses on peacefulness. Children are raised within theirContinue reading “On Divergent, Sex, and Assault”

Two Boys Kissing

Following a homophobic attack on one of their high school classmates, seventeen-year-olds Harry and Craig are two ex-boyfriends (and current best friends) on a mission: they plan to break the world record for longest recorded kiss. They get the okay to do it on the lawn of their campus, and it’s game on: they’ll haveContinue reading “Two Boys Kissing”

Lucretia and the Kroons

Lucretia (Loochie) Gardner is a young girl living in Queens. She’s just turned twelve, and all she wants is for life to go back to the way it was. Her best friend, Sunny, has been battling cancer for months now. Loochie has always been a bit of an outsider, and life without Sunny has beenContinue reading “Lucretia and the Kroons”

Audiobook Quickies: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn & The Book Thief

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith CD Publisher/Year: Books on Tape, 2000 Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Source: Library What it is: A coming of age novel set in turn-of-the-20th-century Brooklyn. Francie Nolan grows up in a poverty-stricken, struggling household: her beloved father is an alcoholic, and her mother clearly favors Francie’s little brother. Through all of her hardships, FrancieContinue reading “Audiobook Quickies: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn & The Book Thief”