Like Home

Louisa Onomé. Delacorte, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-5931-7259-9
Chinelo “Nelo” Agu, 16, who is Nigerian Canadian, is content with life in her hometown of Ginger East, in the greater Toronto area. She has a fierce love for her home, despite a shooting years ago that made headlines and cast the town in an unflattering light (“That place is no good for children. It’s not a good place to grow up”). Though many of her friends moved away, Chinelo still has her best friend, Kate Tran, a Vietnamese Canadian girl whose parents own a popular store in town. But when the store is vandalized, and developers move in to persuade the residents of Ginger East to sell their properties, Chinelo knows it’s up to her (“because my mind, my body, is so rooted in Ginger East”) to defend her city from the outsiders who seek to gentrify it: “I swear people who don’t know anything about what it’s like to live here will come in, do whatever they want, and then leave, pretending they did us any favors—pretending we need them.” Chinelo’s unwavering devotion and hope for her hometown drive this debut; Onomé delves into the meaning of home and the negative impacts of redevelopment. While Chinelo’s outright denial of any problems in Ginger East becomes repetitive, this novel explains what gentrification can mean to existing communities, beneath its promises of prosperity. Ages 12–up. Agent: Claire Friedman, Inkwell Management Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 01/27/2021
Release date: 02/23/2021
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 416 pages - 978-0-593-17261-2
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