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X : a novel
2015
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Follows the childhood of the civil rights leader to his imprisonment at age twenty, where he found the faith that would lead him to his path towards activism and justice. - (Baker & Taylor)

Co-written by the best-selling author of Malcolm Little and daughter of Malcolm X, a novel based her father's formative years describes his father's murder, his mother's imprisonment and his challenging effort to pursue an education in law. - (Baker & Taylor)

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

Cowritten by Malcolm X's daughter, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world.

Malcolm Little's parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that's a pack of lies'after all, his father's been murdered, his mother's been taken away, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer have gotten him laughed out of school. There's no point in trying, he figures, and lured by the nightlife of Boston and New York, he escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer. But Malcolm's efforts to leave the past behind lead him into increasingly dangerous territory. Deep down, he knows that the freedom he's found is only an illusion'and that he can't run forever.

X follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today. - (Random House, Inc.)

Author Biography

Ilyasah Shabazz, third daughter of Malcolm X, is an activist, producer, motivational speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed Growing Up X and the picture book Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X. She lives in Westchester County, New York.

Kekla Magoon is the Margaret A. Edwards Award-winning author of more than a dozen books for young readers, including Fire in the Streets and How It Went Down. She is also the coauthor, with Ilyasah Shabazz, of X: A Novel, which was long-listed for the National Book Award and received an NAACP Image Award and a Coretta Scott King Honor. Kekla Magoon grew up in Indiana and now lives in Vermont, where she serves on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Malcolm X's third daughter collaborates with award winner Magoon (The Rock and the River, 2009) to offer a fictionalized biography of Shabazz's late father, the powerful human rights leader. The authors depict an impoverished childhood of turmoil and trouble marked by the death—perhaps the murder—of Malcolm's proud father and the forced institutionalization of his mother, followed by the dissolution of the family as Malcolm and five of his seven siblings are placed in foster homes. Shifting backward and forward through time, the story follows Malcolm from his home in Lansing, Michigan, to Boston, where he becomes a self-described "creature of the street." Then it's on to drug abuse, getting caught in the numbers racket, and, ultimately, at age 23, landing in prison, where he discovers the Nation of Islam and comes to terms with his father's oft-quoted lines from Marcus Garvey, "Up, up, you mighty race; you can accomplish what you will." Shabazz and Magoon bring energy, immediacy, and emotional power to Malcolm's first-person, present-tense voice. Often painfully candid, the authors effectively depict Malcolm's lifetime of racial slurs and casual injustices, symbolized by the image of a lynched man hanging from a tree. It's a satisfyingly complete, never simplistic story of one young man's journey through trouble to the promise of a life of purpose and meaning. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8 Up—Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little. The story opens with his departure from Michigan as a teen, though there are flashbacks to his younger years. It follows Malcolm through his time in Boston and Harlem, culminating with his conversion to Islam and his decision to change his name while in prison in 1948. The story does contain some gritty situations, most notably the use of the "n" word, non-graphic sex, drug and alcohol abuse, and criminal behavior. This was the reality of Malcolm X's early life, and make the later scenes that more authentic. While the novel stops prior to his rise as a civil rights leader, the excellent back matter provides historical context, bibliography, time line, family tree, and a note from the author (who is also the third of Malcolm X's five daughters). This is an eye-opening look at an important historical figure. The author's honesty about his early troubles serves to convey that it is possible to rise through adversity to make a positive difference in this world. A worthwhile addition to any collection.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH

[Page 144]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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