I loved the adorably awkward Norris Kaplan in Ben Philippe’s The Field Guide to the North American Teenager. The Haitian-Canadian teen is a fish out of water when he moves to Austin, Texas, with his mother. The poor boy is “The New Kid” in high school and is having trouble adjusting to the Texas heat and making friends. At least he’s found a hockey team for some semblance of home.
Charming As a Verb was such a cute little gem. This is the second YA novel written by Haitian writer Ben Philippe that I’ve read. As I said in my review for The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, “we’re not dealing with gang/street violence, teen pregnancy, [or] drugs. That’s not the only experience of Black teens.” Once again, Philippe writes about a high school teen boy on a quest to attain #BlackBoyJoy.
Over the years, I’ve gotten into several arguments, or debates, rather about how I identify myself. Being an American-born child of Haitian immigrants, I usually balk at being called African-American. The term seems to haphazardly lump all dark-skinned people together, regardless of what part of the earth we’re from. Because I do know some of my history, I am aware that during the days of slavery, the island of Hispaniola (which now makes up Haiti and Dominican Republic) was a […]