cover image Angel of Greenwood

Angel of Greenwood

Randi Pink. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-76847-6

This harrowing fictional account of Black community action centers the eve of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Angel Hill, 16, is a quiet churchgoing dancer with a passion for helping others and a love for Booker T. Washington. Beneath his mischievous exterior, 17-year-old Isaiah Wilson is a poet who admires W.E.B. Du Bois. Angel is beloved by all of Greenwood, a town of Black excellence across the Frisco tracks from white Tulsa, Okla., while Isaiah is known for hanging out with the wrong crowd. Paired together for a summer job manning a mobile library, the two immediately begin debating the philosophies of “tolerant” Washington and more “active” Du Bois. They also instantly fall in love: Isaiah with Angel’s dance and compassion, she with his poetry and exuberance, and both with the other’s undying devotion to Greenwood, America’s Black Wall Street. Life is disrupted, though, when white Tulsans invade Greenwood and set the town ablaze. Rich in its discussion of Black literature, this novel brilliantly juxtaposes a lighthearted story of young Black love with a deft reminder that such beauty has often been violently seized from Black people, and that these instances deserve remembrance. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Jan.) [/em]