Books by Janet McDonald

JANET MCDONALD is the author of three books set in the Brooklyn projects: Chill Wind, for which she received the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent; Spellbound, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Twists and Turns, an ALA Quick Pick f


OFF-COLOR by Janet McDonald
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 6, 2007

"Somewhat sloppy—especially in the ever-shifting narrative perspective—but lively. (Fiction. YA)"
Issue-driven but spirited, this posthumously published work tackles the meaning of race. Read full book review >
HARLEM HUSTLE by Janet McDonald
FICTION
Released: Oct. 10, 2006

"Elements of smartness spar with smart-alecky repartee in this fast-paced ride about a universal longing for excellence at something, and being recognized for it. (Fiction. YA)"
Eric Samson goes by Double H, or Harlem Hustle, and lives with the family of his best friend, Manley "Ride" Freeman. Read full book review >
BROTHER HOOD by Janet McDonald
FICTION
Released: Sept. 13, 2004

"This lacks the depth of romance and lyrical writing that was evidenced in Walter Dean Myers's Beast (2003), but has an authenticity and immediacy that will appeal as well as being a great title for discussion. (Fiction. YA)"
Nate's dual life allows him to be comfortable at Fletcher, his exclusive, private boarding school, and on his home territory in Harlem. Read full book review >
TWISTS AND TURNS by Janet McDonald
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 15, 2003

"It's a shame, because McDonald's message to kids—find a talent, then work hard to achieve a goal—is one that can't be stated too often. (Fiction. 12-14)"
After graduating from high school, sisters Keeba and Teesha Washington decide to turn their talent for hair-braiding into a business and open a beauty shop. Read full book review >
SPELLBOUND by Janet McDonald
FICTION
Released: Oct. 5, 2001

"Although the ending is a little unbelievable and pat, on the whole it's satisfyingly hopeful. (Fiction. YA)"
Raven Jefferson is 16 and lives with her mother in a housing project in Brooklyn. Read full book review >
PROJECT GIRL by Janet McDonald
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"Powerful and painful reminder of the enormous gap between the culture of an inner-city black ghetto and middle-class white America—one so wide that education alone cannot be counted on to bridge it."
Anger-filled memoirs, partly straight narrative and partly excerpts from a journal, of a professional black woman whose journey from a low-income housing project in Brooklyn to a law office in Paris is replete with violence, hostility, and alienation. Read full book review >