Booter, the Most Well-Read 14-Year Old I Know

Every time I’m home the baby of the family Jordan (a.k.a. Booter) has piles of books lying around her room.  Within the last year or so, she’s taken an interest in more mature content, as Judy Blume and Charlotte Bronte aren’t getting the job done for her anymore.  As a result, my mother and I have started paying closer attention to the novels she gets her hands on-we’ve been confiscating books left and right (The Kite Runner has been the most recent casualty).  She always manages to ask, innocently enough, “But why?  Why am I not allowed to read it?” After explaining to her what makes the novel inappropriate (graphic sex scenes for an 8th grader, exceessive violence, deep-rooted family drama, etc.), this latest time I asked her, “How do you find these books?  What makes you pick them up, out of the thousands of books in the library?”  Her response surprised me.

“I don’t always have a lot of time so if the cover is interesting I open it up to a random page and read a sentence or two.  If I  like it, then I check out the book.”

Hmm…

She may be on to something because the most recent novel I confiscated, Perfect Peace by Daniel Black, has been one of my favorite books I’ve read as of late (and it features a very pretty Black girl on the cover as Jordan was careful to point out).  The review I have posted below that was found on Amazon outlines my reaction after reading it perfectly!

I am absolutely amazed right now. So much took place in the book. Emma Jean’s bout of desperation, Perfect/Paul’s struggle for freedom, Mister’s secret love affair, Henrietta’s revenge, Authorly’s misguided notions of manhood, Woody’s understanding of God, Blind Bartimaeus’ intuitive sight, King Solomon’s diligence in education, Gus and the Jordan, and last but not least, Sugar Baby, the seemingly drunken fool who knew everything from the beginning to the end. Daniel Black has somehow written about four or five novels and weaved them all together to give the World “Perfect Peace”. Every character has a story, and every story lends itself to next. I laughed, I cried, and I had to walk away from the book a few times because of it’s poignant intensity. I am officially a fan, and I cannot wait to read his pervious works, and hopefully many more to come. -Reginald D. Bailey Jr.
The next time I’m in the bookstore/library, I’m going to adopt her method of stumbling across an excellent read.  It’s clearly been getting results if she’s the one who’s able to recommend great novels for me!
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