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  • Writer's pictureEvangeline Lawson

Pride By Ibi Zoboi

"Mama's high-pitched laughs and Madrina's booming words are music–accordions and congas in a merengue or compas band. When she sings her orisha praise songs during her ceremonies down in the basement, I can feel it all the way up here on the third floor. And when Papi looks up from his food to add his two cents to the conversation, it's like his words are a tambora adding deep wisdom to all that superficial gossip. My sister's giggles are güiras, and together, it's a party, even without actual music." (Pride, by Ibi Zoboi)

Wealth disparity, gentrification, and the value of family are all wrapped up into one lovely YA fiction read in Pride by Ibi Zoboi. I am halfway through and can't put it down. The author's ability to paint clear imagery that you can see, makes me feel like I'm right there in the neighborhood swooning over the cute boys across the street, while daydreaming about going away to college.

I appreciate the depth of the main character Zuri and her unwillingness to compromise her way of thinking. But then again, I'm only in the first half, so we'll see how she withstands the social pressures of wanting to be accepted, while maintaining her independent thoughts and desires. All the while, this book makes me wonder about the responsibility we have to teach children about the value of authentic communities and the social threats to them.

I definitely recommend this book for the YA reader, but also if you just want a light but fun read, that still encourages critical thought about deeper social topics, this one is a great one.

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