cover image Vinyl Moon

Vinyl Moon

Mahogany L. Browne. Crown, $18.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-593-17643-6

After a violent incident with her controlling boyfriend in California—one that ends with him “locked up” and her with a broken arm, a bruised eye, and internalized feelings of guilt—Angel’s mother sends her to live with her uncle Spence in Brooklyn. At Flatbush’s Benjamin Banneker High, Angel, who’s cued as Black, feels weighed down by shame and misses her family. She begins to find solace in her homeroom/ advisory class, “Her Excellence is Resilience & Honoring Everyone’s Roots,” with seven other teens, each facing her own struggles and pain. As the group’s bond grows, Angel finds a new love of reading Black writers (James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Walter Dean Myers) and mixing music (a situation in which “I decide the vibe”), both of which slowly address her deeper wounds. In short, sharp chapters that interweave poetry and prose, Browne (Chlorine Sky) offers snippets of Angel’s life before and after the incident, bringing readers into her growth and portraying with nuance a group of Brooklyn teens unpacking their traumas and finding their joy. Ages 14–up. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary. (Jan.)