What’s on my nightstand? No Laughter Here, by Rita Williams-Garcia.
This is one of those stories that needs to be told for the sake of social and cultural awareness, but I’d recommend it even if it weren’t because it’s simply a well-told story.
Akilah and Victoria are best friends who share everything. After a summer in Nigeria, Victoria returns silent, secretive, and clearly unhappy. Akilah is determined to find out why, sticking by her friend no matter how hard or often she’s pushed away. Learning Victoria’s secret, however, presents more questions, some of which don’t have answers.
Questions that don’t have answers are difficult to process at any age. The subject of the novel is huge and confusing. This had to be a hard story to write, but Rita Williams-Garcia makes it look easy. The story is very accessible: the characters are easy to understand and relate to; the language is straightforward; the emotions are honest. This accessibility is impressive.
This is another readergirlz pick that I’m getting to many months late. Readergirlz rock.