Leaving Atlanta

By Tayari Jones,

Book cover of Leaving Atlanta

Book description

In the summer of 1979 black children were disappearing from the streets of Atlanta. By the time this heinous killing spree was over, 29 children were dead. This haunting menace provides a powerful backdrop to the stories of three young children fighting the painful everyday battle of adolescence. Tasha, Rodney…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Leaving Atlanta as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I have loved Black literature written in Southern AAVE since reading Charles Chesnutt’s The Conjure Woman in graduate school. But perhaps what I love most about the narrator, Octavia (also known as Sweet Pea), is that she’s fluent in many languages: the language of the hood where she lives, of the classroom where she excels, and of the playground, where her poverty is often a cause for ridicule, but where her sassy, outspoken nature is treated with grudging respect. Early 1980s Atlanta is an unsafe place for children: drugs, gangs, and the Atlanta Child Murders are threatening their very existence,…

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