Sweet Thang by Allison Whittenberg (Delacorte, 2005). After Auntie Karyn dies, fourteen-year-old Charmaine's little cousin, Tracy John, comes to live with and annoy her while charming the rest of the family. As if that weren't enough, spiteful Dinah Coverdale of the light skin and silky hair is the real and gloating girlfriend of the boy Charmaine likes (and for whom she's doing homework). This debut novel looks at family ties and black-on-black prejudice. It's a 20th century historical, set in 1975. Ages 12-up.
More Thoughts on Sweet Thang
Sweet Thang kind of reminded me of those "special" episodes of "The Cosby Show" when the grandparents would visit, and everyone would reminisce about them being there to hear Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. (Charmaine's daddy even quotes Dr. King at dinner). I really loved those episodes.
That said, what moved me about this novel--about Sweet Thang--was its characters Charmaine and Tracy John. I felt such a real bond between them. I believed in them, and I'm still cheering them on.
Cynsational News & Links
NorthWestWriters.com: "features books by the authors of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and B.C., Canada."
Passport: International Children's Literature: "created from an United States perspective and defines international children's literature as anything outside of your borders."
Peace and Non-Violence Curriculum by Cecil Ramnaraine from the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. Features extensive children's peace bibliography. See also Weapons of Mass Instruction: Anti-War Books for Young People, which includes links to additional bibliographies.