I read a couple of great books this week that deal with some heavy topics. Even though these books are fiction, the problems they talk about are very real. One of the reasons I love to read is that I love to learn new things. These books taught me about some horrific things that are happening in the world today but they also showed me what the power of love, hope, and tolerance can achieve.
Goodreads Book Blurb
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
This timely story was told in an honest and very raw way. It captures the unfortunate cycle of violence of young black people and the impact that they can’t escape. The author does a great job showing both worlds. Since Starr and her family lives in the ghetto, we get that perspective, but because she goes to a private school of mostly white kids, we also get that perspective. I don’t feel this book took sides. Starr’s uncle is a cop and her boyfriend is white so we see all sides of this terrible crime. This was a sobering yet important story that teens and adults should read.
Goodreads Book Blurb
In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.
A great mystery thriller! I feel like there are not enough of these type of books for YA. The setting takes place in Africa and the author’s descriptions make you feel as if you are right there. Also, there are so many wonderful characters! The story was very suspenseful and I had no idea until the reveal who the murderer was. Most importantly, this story talks about very realistic events that unfortunately happen in the Congo. Human rights violations, especially against women and children are common. A must read.