another 5-star review!

Did you see my guest post on race and reviews over at Justine’s blog?  Well, when I say in the comments that different people bring different “tools” to the critique process, THIS is what I’m talking about:

I do not want to give away too much of the plot, but Elliott not only lets the reader explore what it means to be a black girl in 2001 Brooklyn, she also asks what this means in 1863 Brooklyn. She also explores how whiteness in the 1860s New York differs from whiteness in 2001, educating her young adult readership that the Irish Catholic immigrants were not read as “white” in the 1860s like they are now in the USA.  She explores how certain economic factors and struggles for survival were intertwined with how upper class white elites perceived not only black people during the 1860s, but also how they constructed how the new Irish immigrants could fit into the racial and socio-economic hierarchy of the USA. Will Genna be able to find a way back to 2001 Brooklyn?

I highly recommend this book to not just young adults, but anyone who would like to explore time travel speculative fiction that actually involves a protagonist whose safety and mobility are heavily compromised by the fact that she is a black girl in a USA in which sexism and racism are institutionalized.
This point cannot be emphasized enough, particularly since time travel  novels in US literature have protagonists who are usually white males; their racial and gender identities do not create the same situations that it does for characters like Genna who cannot even walk around alone in 1863 without someone trying to sexually assault her, enslave her, or kill her. I give this book 5/5 stars.
Now, in my guest post I emphasize that you don’t need a PhD to review books on your blog.  This reviewer, Amie Breeze Harper, IS working on her PhD and so she brings a particular set of tools to her reading of Wish—namely her ability to critically analyze (and historicize) the construction of race and gender in my book.  Really, I’m thrilled when *anyone* reads and reviews my book, but it is especially gratifying when someone realizes that I didn’t write my novel just to entertain folks…
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~ by elliottzetta on February 22, 2010.

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