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This middle grade debut novel, is a compelling story of a young girl finding just where she belongs in the vast universe that unfortunately is changing at warp speed.
It is the summer of 1984, when 12 year old Ebony – Grace Norfleet (aka Space Cadet E – Grace Starfleet) suddenly finds herself in a very strange new world that is loud, mystifying and pretty terrifying. She has come to spend the summer with her Daddy, in Harlem (New York City).
Ebony normally lives in Huntsville, Alabama with her Mom and beloved Grandfather. Her Mom had decided to send Ebony up to Harlem for the summer, because problems had arisen with her Grandfather. Living in Huntsville is very calm, predictable and Ebony is sheltered in the rural community from the thrills of big city life.
Her Grandfather, Jeremiah, was one of the very first black engineers to integrate NASA, in the 1960s. Over the years, Jeremiah has indulged his granddaughter’s love of all things outer space & science fiction; especially Star Trek & Star Wars. Together they make up stories and act them out in their imagination locations.
Once Ebony reaches Harlem, which immediately overwhelms her, she retreats into her imagination location; where she always feels safe. When Ebony is in her imagination location, no one understands her, the things she does or says.
Life is Harlem isn’t easy for young Ebony, where all the kids are into double dutch, break dancing, hip hop, graffiti and other big city things she doesn’t know much about.
Soon enough life at 126th Street (where her Daddy lives) begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci – fi adventures than Ebony ever thought possible. By summer’s end, Ebony has learned some valuable lessons & discovers that Harlem just might have a place in it for a young girl whose eyes are always pointed towards the vast expanses of outer space.
To find out just how Ebony found her way in the big city, run out and pick up a copy of this feel good book today. I doubt you will be disappointed.
An excellent read for the middle school student that happens to also be a science fiction fan especially of the female persuasion. This book has everything a reader (boys and girls of any age) could ask for in a story. A captivating tale weaving together themes of coming of age, the importance of individuality, and the essential power of the love of family. A great addition to any classroom or library with picky teen-ish readers. I'm a seventh grade English teacher and it is front and center on my book shelf. Buy the book and enjoy the ride! You are going to love it!
Poorly written children’s book. Filled with negative stereotypes about African Americans. Can’t tell if the character is autistic and we should feel bad for her or if she is just very immature for her age and we should hope for her to grow up. Very difficult to know what the moral of the story is with the kind of character ambiguity.
Also the adults featured in the book struggle with issues that many children are too young to understand and the issues are only outlined with enough nuance that the adults reading the book are likely to know how to interpret. For example the main character has a grandfather whose been involved in some kind of scandal —likely an affair that started prior to the grandmothers death and is only now being uncovered. The character also has an uncle who is rich and has women coming in and out of the house (possibly prostitutes). The main character’s dad and uncle get into a fight and end up in jail. There are illusions to church going adults that are little more than judgmental hypocrites. I found all of these stereotypes offensive and harmful. On the whole it’s a very strange book ... anyone interested in helping children set aside these kinds of stereotypes would likely set this book aside. I would highly recommend you save your money and buy one of the many other classic children’s books available ... there is only so much time in childhood ... make sure they are reading good literature.