Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Emako Blue by Brenda Woods
I have read five Maud Hart Lovelace Award nominees in the last week and so far this is the one I think my students will like the best. It's short and simple, but has an emotional impact that will resonate with middle schoolers. The setting is a Los Angeles high school where the students come from a variety of neighborhoods—some safe and some not. Emako Blue is the name of a girl--she's beautiful and talented, and everyone knows she will get out of the ghetto where she lives and make it big someday. Tragically, Emako is killed, and this book tells her story from the perspective of her best friend Monterey, a guy named Jamal who tried to be her boyfriend, a girl named Savannah who never liked her, and a guy named Eddie who was her friend. It's a sad story, but it will capture the interest of readers who might also learn what life is like for innocent teens living in South Central Los Angeles. This is a good one for reluctant readers.