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Publisher's Summary

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 calls her father - a housepainter-slash-philosopher - "Baba" 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.

Disgruntled, effortlessly funny, and achingly poignant, follow 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.

©2015 Asali Solomon (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A deft, knowing, bold, and witty debut." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed with disgruntled

Struggled to complete this book. At times the read was confusing. When referencing the key, why Kenyas parents never took her to a therapist about her sleep walking. It felt like this author became just as confused and decided to give up on the ending. I'd hoped that the ending was going to come together but it never did.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved It!!!

The father is severely damaged as a result of racism or mental illness. As a result these issues damage the family. But despite his issues the main character will be be mostly okay. This story depicts the struggle of many educated African Americans.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • E2
  • 05-05-15

Adichie's twin?

Intimate descriptions of characters, sharp sword of truth, fresh voices, hilarious at times, a light shown on human nature, strong females....it reminded me of Adichie's Americanah.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What comes from the heart, speaks to the heart!

A wonderful coming of age tale for our urban princesses! Solomon reveals the soul and touches the heart.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not much happens

I could see the water but the author never takes us in. This reads like a draft full of potential...

0 of 3 people found this review helpful