Loved ones face the fallout after a young Black activist dies in police custody in Los Angeles.
“She was my sister before she became your martyr,” says Happi, the younger sister of Kezi, an activist and influential YouTuber who dies after taking part in a social justice rally on her 18th birthday. In the wake of police brutality, victims’ life choices are often brought into question in an attempt to justify their deaths. But Kezi is “one of the good ones,” a model student with a promising future. Temperamental Happi, by contrast, skips school, gets drunk at parties, and is now haunted by her last words to Kezi—Kezi, who loved history and was in love with her best friend, Ximena, a secret she kept from her parents, who are pastors. Through brilliant storytelling, sharp dialogue, and flashbacks, the narrative becomes a story within a story as Kezi delves into her family history beginning in the late 1930s. Her research sets the stage for a present-day trek inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, a guide that helped Black American travelers stay safe during the Jim Crow era. This novel, the second collaboration by the sisters behind Dear Haiti, Love Alaine (2019), is an explosive look behind the hashtags at race and history, taking readers on a road trip mapped by love and grief.
Close to perfection.(maps, family trees) (Fiction. 13-18)