One of the Good Ones

Maika and Maritza Moulite. Inkyard, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-335-14580-2
When Kezi, Happi’s outspoken older sister, dies in police custody following wrongful arrest at a social justice rally on her 18th birthday, she’s immortalized publicly as “One of the Good Ones”—a generous young Black woman who “Was Going to Make a Difference.” Following the event, defiant Happi is pressed into a road trip with her oldest sister, Genny; Kezi’s secret girlfriend; and Happi’s former best friend to commemorate Kezi’s life and online activism. Traveling along Route 66 to a series of historical “safe places” for Black motorists listed in The Negro Motorist Green Book, Happi learns more about the history of racism in the U.S. and the overprotective sister she always spurned. In nonchronological order and through multiple perspectives, the Moulite sisters (Dear Haiti, Love Alaine) present an emotionally hard-hitting account of police brutality, following martyred activist Kezi, her grieving younger sister, and the siblings’ ancestors, nearly a century before, facing a similar racially motivated loss. Though a late-breaking plot twist jars, thrusting the story into a high-octane soap opera that never quite coheres, it’s an otherwise riveting story about an all-too-familiar series of tragedies and the all-too-familiar attitudes that surround them. Ages 12–up. Authors’ agent: JL Stermer, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/05/2020
Release date: 01/05/2021
Genre: Children's
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