Question: How do you feel about magical realism?
Wait, what’s that you ask? Let me break it down for you. Magical realism is basically a story set in the REAL world, but it has bits of magic in it. So, it’s like a realistic fantasy, you know? That’s why it’s called “magical realism.” Anyway, I was browsing my favorite local independent bookstore–Magers and Quinn (They have so much good stuff!)–when I came across Passage by Khary Lazarre White. I stopped dead in my tracks and held my breath for a moment. The cover is amazing. I loved how the main character’s skin just popped and drew your eye. I just couldn’t look away from it. I put down the book I was holding (I seriously can’t even remember what it was!) and picked it up immediately. I took it off into a corner to read a chapter and by the end of the second page I was hooked.
So, you probably wanna know what this book is about, huh? Warrior is a teenage boy living in the hood during the 1990s. He’s always been a little different. He’s a thinker, quiet, and a bit of an old soul. Maybe too old of a soul as he has one little problem: spirits speak to him. Specifically the spirits of deceased slaves. Warrior is plagued not only by their souls, but he bears their pain too. On top of that, he’s trying to figure high school out, which is tough to do when you’re always angry about the injustices of the world against black boys like yourself.
Okay, let me be the first one to say that this book was hard to read. A lot of painful stuff happens both to Warrior and the people around him and the book tackles many SUPER important issues black kids are affected by. Like drug use, being harassed and shot by police, and how sometimes the biggest threat comes from other black people. It was a short read, but it left me with loads to think about and the writing had a ton of symbolism, but it was also poetic. This is a book that will make you think, not a book that will give you all the answers. Still, I felt like I knew Warrior by the end. I loved him and his family. In fact, I saw a lot of myself in his character and that felt really good. Pick this book up if you’re ready for a challenging, kind of weird, but really sharp read.
*Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
By Jesse E
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