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The Harlem Charade Hardcover – January 31, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—What makes a community? What role does the past play in our present and future? These are the overarching questions posed in this Harlem-set mystery with its cast of three disparate seventh graders. Jin, who lives with her grandparents and helps run their bodega, is a keen observer of human nature and records all in her ever-present notebook. Alex, an extremely wealthy girl, spends her free time trying to help the disadvantaged, while being rude and abrasive to her fellow classmates. Elvin, who becomes the linchpin of the trio, has just arrived in Harlem to live with his estranged grandfather. When disaster strikes and his grandfather is brutally attacked, Elvin becomes homeless and the girls swoop in as caretakers. As the three begin to investigate the assault, they learn of a fascinating chapter in the Harlem art scene that has far-reaching ramifications for the present. The author's note will be helpful in classroom discussions and may prompt further reading. VERDICT Exploring themes such as art, social justice, and the corporatization of historic settings, this selection will have strong regional appeal and will interest those who enjoyed Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer.—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, MI
* "A story that motivates justice and inspires kindness..." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Tarpley creates a strong sense of Harlem's rich past and present, conveys the importance of art, and raises thoughtful questions about service and justice." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The Harlem Charade links a multifaceted cast of characters with some of Harlem's thorniest issues, and offers dreams, hope, and plenty of action in the process. Few novels take on the real-life neighborhood issues of gentrification, big money, and the destructive loss of old ways. This book does, and in the process shines a light on the magical and complex history of Harlem and its many brilliant art forms. Tarpley shares Harlem's past and present glory with grace and respect, and in the process offers inspiration to all who would love to see its unique beauty survive." -- Blue Balliett, New York Times bestselling author of Chasing Vermeer and Hold Fast
"Harlem itself tops the cast of unique and engaging characters that make The Harlem Charade a mystery that will have readers turning pages at lightning speed. It kept me guessing until the final twist!” -- Gordon Korman, bestselling author of Swindle and Slacker
Praise for I Love My Hair!:
"A very special book about self-acceptance." -- School Library Journal
"[A] celebration of African American identity." -- Booklist
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