The Caribbean literary library grew this year in the children and young adult category with several new books from authors across the library. Here are six books by Caribbean authors you should add to your children’s library this Christmas. The first three are the winners of the 2014 Burt Award administered by CODE.
1. Title & Author: All Over Again by A-Dziko Simba Gegele
Publisher: Blouse & Skirt Books
The book blurb for All Over Again, lets you know that you are in for an engaging slice of boyhood told as only A-Dziko Simba Gegele can. “Growing up is hard. You know this. And when your mother has X-ray eyes and dances like a wobbling bag of water? When you father’s idea of fun is to put all your money in a savings account and make you get up a 5am every Sunday morning? When Kenny, Percival Thorton High’s big show-off, is after Christina Parker – your Christina parker? And when you have a shrimp of a little sister who is the bawlingest little six year old girl in the whole of Riverland? Then growing up is something you not sure you can manage at all. Who in their right mind could? Who? You? All Over Again was the first prize winner of the 2014 Burt Awards. The author is also an accomplished poet and playwright.
2. Title & Author: Musical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse
Publisher: CaribeanReads Publishing
Musical Youth, which placed second in the 2014 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, follows one eventful summer in the life of a group of Antiguan teenagers. Guitarist Zahara and Shaka, a musical genius find love and challenges as they take part in a musical that they must get right by the end of the summer. Readers will be drawn in by the book’s cast of interesting characters and will love the musical thread that runs through the story. Joanne C. Hillhouse is a native of Antigua & Barbuda and also authored The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Fish Outta Water, and Oh Gad!
3. Title & Author: Inner City Girl by Collen Smith-Dennis
Publisher: LMH Publishing
The third place winner in the 2014 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, Inner City Girl tells the story of Martina who gets the opportunity of a lifetime. A poor girl from the inner city gains entry into one of the most prestigious high schools in Jamaica. Martina is determined not to succumb to ridicule, rejection and poverty as she makes her way through school. Inner City Girl is the author’s first book.
4. Title & Author: Zapped by Jewel A. Daniel
Publisher: CaribeanReads Publishing
Zapped! is the first book in the Small Worlds series written by Jewel Daniel and Lynelle Martin. When a mysterious machine shrinks Sonya, Lynelle, and Giselle to microscopic proportions they become so small that they slip through the walls of a cell and the three girls find themselves caught up in a roller coaster of an adventure that has them running for their lives. Do they ever escape? You will have to read to find out.
5. Title & Author: Youth Power by Catherine Dorsette
Publisher: Fast Pencil
The books title is deceptive but this inspirational collection by Catherine Dorsette is a must for teens needing to understand how God can use them to accomplish mighty things. Youth Power tells the stories of young men and women in the bible from a teen’s perspective offering a new viewpoint on the conversations that may have happened as their faith is put to the test.
6. Title: ‘Round My Christmas Tree
Publisher: CaribbeanReads Publishing
‘Round My Christmas Tree, an Anthology of Caribbean Christmas Stories brings you 27 stories, poems, recipes, and artwork that range from the sacred to irreverent and from heart-warming to just down-right funny about Christmas the way we do it across the islands. It is a wonderful collection which children and adults will enjoy as they learn about the similarities and differences in traditions across the Caribbean of this most festive season.
You can purchase these books and others by Caribbean authors online via Amazon.