Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Teen Tuesday: X: a novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon. 384 p. Candlewick Press, January, 2015. 9780763669676. (Own.)

This fictionalized biography of the boy who would grow up to be Malcolm X is totally riveting. Co-written by his daughter and Kekla Magoon, the story bounces backward and forward in time between 1930 and 1948. The reader learns of incidents that shaped Malcolm's childhood and teen years. The present tense narration is tough, emotional and totally engrossing as readers gain an understanding of the events and decisions which defined him and later informed his radical views. It would be the rare middle school student to gravitate to this work due to the complex nature of the subject and harsh realities Malcolm faced. But I've had a few mature, well-read eighth graders read the book and love it. X is certainly a must-purchase addition for any high school collection.

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