#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 3

Day 3 – Young Adult/Middle-Grade:

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These two genres don’t usually attract me at all.  I just get a little bored reading them at times so I don’t set out to read them at all.  However, The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 is a book I missed.  It was published in 1995 so ahem!, so I was  older.  I was old enough not to have this one on my radar.  Photo challenges have this way of getting avid readers like me to dig deep.  I found this one on my shelves neglected.  It was originally given to me in a bag of used books that someone wanted to discard.  I love discarded books because I always seem to find treasures inside of them.  This book won a 1996 Newberry Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book Award.  Christopher Paul Curtis has written many other middle-grade/Young Adult awarded novels, like Bud, not Buddy, Elijah of Buxton, The Mighty Miss Malone, among others.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963  is “A wonderful middle-grade novel narrated by Kenny, 9, about his middle-class black family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. When Kenny’s 13-year-old brother, Byron, gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they happen to be in Birmingham when Grandma’s church is blown up.” (description from iTunes Books)

#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge – Day 2

Day 2 – A Novel about Family:

Family is so important, but yet is so complex.  It’s what supports us through difficulty and through happy eventsIMG_1319 but can tear us to shreds and drive us batty through others.  There are many interesting books out there where family is the focus and it seems the more dysfunctional the better the story.  In my opinion, one of the novels that stood out in an African-American novel about family is If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin.

Tish and Fonny are a young African-American couple in love.  It’s Harlem in the 1970s and Sonny has been arrested and accused of a crime he hasn’t committed.  Here’s where family comes in.  Tish’s family is supportive and sacrificing because they believe in Tish and Fonny’s love, and equally in Fonny’s innocence, where Fonny’s family can’t wait for the ordeal to be over with, so that they can get on with their shallow, useless, and unsuccessful lives.  They aren’t willing to do anything for Tish and unfortunately not for their son.  If Beale Street Could Talk does an excellent job of depicting the fall out of family and life in the seventies for a black man unjustly accused.