Book - 2015
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Kenya Curtis is only eight years old, but she knows that she's different, even if she can't put her finger on how or why. It's not because she's Black, most of the other students in the fourth-grade class at her West Philadelphia elementary school are too. Maybe it's because she celebrates Kwanzaa, or because she's forbidden from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Maybe it's because she calls her father, a housepainter-slash-philosopher, "Baba" instead of "Daddy," or because her parents' friends gather to pour out libations "from the Creator, for the Martyrs" and discuss "the community." Kenya does know that it's connected to what her Baba calls "the shame of being alive", a shame that only grows deeper and more complex over the course of Asali Solomon's novel. Disgruntled, effortlessly funny and achingly poignant, follows Kenya from West Philadelphia to the suburbs, from public school to private, from childhood through adolescence, as she grows increasingly disgruntled by her inability to find any place or thing or person that feels like home.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015
ISBN: 9780374140342
Characteristics: 285 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Disgruntled : a novel


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Oct 30, 2016

While it's a coming of age story, I don't think I'd call it, as the previous commentator did, a YA narrative. If the story is a little familiar, the protagonist, a black girl with activist parents, is a fresh, vibrant character and author Asali Solomon gives her a distincitive voice that is more necessary than ever right now.

Sep 30, 2015

An inner city girlhood story in a YA narrative. The bit parts of the father's letters seemed expendable, but overall it was charming and even funny.


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