I’m here to write about a new YA book out this month that was a fantastic read — One of the Good Ones. This story, told in several different voices and across time, centers on three sisters and the ties that bind them. Middle sister Kezi is a social media influencer and social activist when she is arrested during a protest. Her family is told that she has died in police custody when a fire breaks out at the jail where she is held. Happi, the youngest, is striving to be an actress and her tensions run hot with her sisters and her family. She is self-centered and strong and determined to succeed. Reeling from Kezi’s death, the remaining two sisters decide to head out on a road trip that Kezi had planned using the “Green Book” for Black motorists published in the first half of the 20th century. This book provided a guide to “safe stops” for Black motorist and their families seeking gas, food, and lodging while driving through America (on Route 66) in the days of segregation and sundown towns. I found this fascinating as this was based in fact – a fact that I did not know. This story has peaks and valleys and subplots and also some twists and suspense. I can’t say more without spoilers, but I’d highly recommend it to high schoolers and adults who enjoy YA (like me!). There is so much to talk about regarding racism, prejudice, and the overarching issues of how we blame the victim or turn them into a martyr. This was a thoughtful and provoking read.
Thank you for having me be part of the tour and for my review e-copy!
ONE OF THE GOOD ONES
By Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
On Sale: January 5, 2021
Teen & Young Adult; Prejudice & Racism; Siblings; Self-esteem & Reliance
About the Book
A shockingly powerful exploration of the lasting impact of prejudice and the indomitable spirit of sisterhood that will have readers questioning what it truly means to be an ally, from sister-writer duo Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.
ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH?
When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.
One of the good ones.
Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.
About the Authors
MAIKA MOULITE is a Miami native and the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Miami. When she’s not using her digital prowess to help nonprofits and major organizations tell their stories online, she’s sharpening her skills as a PhD student at Howard University’s Communication, Culture and Media Studies program. Her research focuses on representation in media and its impact on marginalized groups. She’s the eldest of four sisters and loves young adult novels, fierce female leads, and laughing.
MARITZA MOULITE graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of Southern California with a master’s in journalism. She’s worked in various capacities for NBC News, CNN, and USA TODAY. Maritza is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania exploring ways to improve literacy in under-resourced communities after being inspired to study education from her time as a literacy tutor and pre-k teacher assistant. Her favorite song is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.
Author website: https://www.maikaandmaritza.com/
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