cover image Neate to the Rescue!

Neate to the Rescue!

Wade Hudson, Deborah Newton Chocolate, Debbi Chocolate. Just Us Books, $5 (90pp) ISBN 978-0-940975-42-2

NEATE is an acronym for Naimah, Elizabeth, Anthony, Tayesha and Eddie--African American friends who, in this first book of a series, campaign for the reelection of Naimah's mother to the city council. It's a bitter struggle between the respected woman and her white male opponent, an unabashed racist who advocates the re-zoning of community districts to quash African American voting power. Naimah and her pals, realizing that every vote counts, fervently urge their adult neighbors to cast their ballots. They also stage an exuberant rally for children, encouraging them to join this important cause. Chocolate's timely story dramatizes the electoral process, unfair political tactics and blatant prejudice, and should strike a responsive chord among socially aware youngsters. The novel's contemplative tone (though a bit at odds with the sprightly cover artwork) renders it a cut above the typical mass-market YA offering. Ages 10-up. (Nov.)