A teen fiction sensation about race and police brutality

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ZÉLIE has known persecution all her life. As a child, she witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of the police. Her father was brutally beaten. Marked out by her hair and dark skin, Zélie is subjected to ghettoisation, punitive policies and slurs. She sees children killed simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She vows to rise up, and change the fate of those like her.

The 17-year-old heroine of “Children of Blood and Bone” may have supernatural powers and live in Orïsha, a mythical land, but much of her experience will feel uncomfortably familiar to American readers. Tomi Adeyemi (pictured), a first-time author who wrote the novel in a month, intended it to be an “allegory for the modern black experience”: “although riding giant lionaires and performing sacred rituals might be in the realm of fantasy, all the pain, fear, sorrow, and loss in this book is real.” There is an almost…Continue reading

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