Library Journal’s Word on Street Lit Vol 10 Pick of the Month
Little, Terra. Where There’s Smoke. Urban Bks. Jan. 2009. 275p. ISBN 978-1-9339-6778-3. pap. $14.95. F
Verdict: Ignore the misleading cover, designed to appeal to teenage boys. This well-written novel about a determined, recovering single mom; her strong-willed, out-of-control son; and the prodigal, learned-from-my-mistakes father will appeal to every type of reader—from Big Mama to adolescents—and would make an excellent book club pick. Reflecting the tightly woven tapestry of African American culture that helps urban families overcome the negative influences of street life, Little’s sophomore effort (after Running from Mercy) is highly recommended for all urban fiction collections.
Background: Free of drugs and alcohol for almost 20 years, Anne is raising her son on her own. However, Isaiah, now 16, is experimenting with drugs himself. Determined not to see her child go down the same slippery slope, Anne tracks down Isaiah’s father, Smoke, unaware that he’s a father. After the initial shock, the drug pimp–turned–respectable high school teacher (now called Alec) takes on the challenge to help Anne turn Isaiah around. In the embrace of his extended family, Isaiah calms down, and Anne and Smoke begin to bond as well. But then Hood, Isaiah’s gangster friend, makes Isaiah pay for withdrawing from the streets. As old demons come out to play, familial love brings the characters even closer together.
Endy. Deal with Death
Lennox, Lisa. Crack Head II
Noire. Hittin’ the Bricks: An Urban Erotic Tale
Carter, Danita. Peer Pleasure (YA Pick)