Category Archives: Caribbean Lit News This Week

Lesson Plans for the uninitiated

As we adjust to the orders to remain at home during the COVID-19 crisis, a number of parents have been required to support their your children’s education at home. We wanted to point out a valuable resource published by Hands Across the Sea which is available on their website.

Three CaribbeanReads books are included in this valuable resource and we will be providing additional supporting material for our other books in the near future, so use this great Hands Across the Sea resource and be on the lookout for more from us!

Lesson Plans from Hands Across the Sea
Sweet Victory: Kindergarten on kindle
Oliver and Friends: Grade One on kindle
Chee Chee in Paradise: Grade Three

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Happy Friday!

This is likely to be a quiet weekend for most of us. Many of us have been working at home, and as someone for whom this is normal, I can tell you that it’s easy for the weekend to become more of the same. So be sure to put away the work and do something different this weekend, within the confines of our current guidelines, of course.
If reading is one of the things you choose to do, be sure to check out our books for our adult readers, including:
Greyborn Rising by Derry Sandy
Love’s Promiseby Opal Palmer Adisa
Hurricane of the Heart by Jewel Amethyst
and plays by David Edgecombe.

Stay safe!

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CaribbeanReads at the Copenhagen Book Festival

The Copenhagen Book Festival opened today and two books by Opal Palmer Adisa, Look! A Moko Jumbie and Dance Quadrille, Play Quelbe were on display.

Lise Bostrop, the chair of the board of the Danish Language Circle, added the books to the organization’s display booth at the Festival. The promotional material informs visitors of the historical connection between Denmark and the US Virgin Islands and encourages them to learn about the culture of these islands as presented in Dr. Adisa’s children’s books.

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Kirkus Reviews-Greyborn Rising is “an unforgettable read—and (author) Sandy, a name to watch.”

In a very favorable review, Kirkus Reviews praised Derry Sandy’s Greyborn Rising published by CaribbeanReads in 2019. Following a detailed description of the book, the Kirkus reviewer states “The author truly excels, however, in his meticulous plotting involving supernatural elements… generate entertaining mayhem … [and] moments of unnerving prose.” The reviewer sums the book up as “A masterful tale that illuminates terrifying creatures in Caribbean lore.”

Kirkus Reviews is an American review magazine founded in 1933 and one of the few who review books published by very small independent presses like CaribbeanReads. They’ve also reviewed The Protectors Pledge by Danielle Y. C. McClean very favorably.

Read Greyborn Rising for yourself in print (hard and soft cover) and on kindle. It’s available at bookstores in Trinidad and at online booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Read the full review here.

“A masterful tale that illuminates terrifying creatures in Caribbean lore.” Kirkus Reviews

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St. Croix recognizes CR author Opal Palmer Adisa

In this article, Elisa McKay of the St. Croix Source highlights the work of Opal Palmer Adisa and her contributions to children’s literature. In both her children’s and adult work, Adisa work features Caribbean traditions and culture.

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Musical Youth Second Edition Releases (with Bonus Author Information Revealed)

Be the first to know!
In November 2014, CaribbeanReads was tremendously proud to publish the Burt Award prize-winning title Musical Youth #musicalyouthbook by Joanne C. Hillhouse. We printed 4000 copies of the book, and today, thanks to the support of Code, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, schools, bookstores such as Best of Books in Antigua and Paperbased in Trinidad, and book festivals in Brooklyn, St. Martin, USVI, Barbados, Anguilla, and Miami, we are all sold out!

With the second printing, we made a few changes to the cover (still maintaining the beautiful artwork of Glenroy Aaron) and the acknowledgements in which Hillhouse speaks of her own gratefulness and thanks “readers everywhere—tout monde sam and baggai, as we say in Antigua and Barbuda—who bought and/or took the time to recommend the book; and specifically, Caribbean readers and young people who have told me how much they love Zahara, and how Zahara and Shaka are #relationshipgoals.”

Inside, the second edition of Musical Youth contains the same content that has prompted the incredible support the book has received. Zahara and Shaka pop off the page with the same intensity that keeps teens talking about them long after they’ve read the last word. Read reviews of the book here.

In commemoration of the new edition, author Joanne C. Hillhouse has put together a candid discussion about her writing process, her vision of the characters, and more in this study guide: author’s edition.

Musical Youth is the first of two Burt Award winners published by CaribbeanReads, the second being The Protectors’ Pledge by Danielle Y. C. McClean. The success of these titles speaks to the fact that we need Caribbean books and, more generally, #weneeddiversebooks.

Where to buy it? The new edition is available from the publisher, on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and select bookstores. Ask your local bookstores and schools for your copy of the new edition. Copies of the OG (original version of) Musical Youth are still available at select bookstores. It’s may become a collectors’ item, so get yours quickly.

Share the news, let’s make this hashtag go viral. #musicalyouthbook. As Caribbean schoolchildren (of old?) might say, we glad bag bus’!

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Toni Morrison’s Passing

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I had just completed a post celebrating Jamaica’s Independence when I read the news that Toni Morrison had died. My first instinct was to delete the light-hearted post. How could I be joyous when an icon like Morrison, Nobel prize and Pulitzer prize winning author, inspirational on so many levels, had departed this world? Her life’s example suggests that she would encourage us to celebrate her life rather than mourn her death.

Morrison inspires me as a writer with her metaphorical, original, and visionary use of language. I have no doubt that each word she leaves on the page is placed with careful consideration of its contribution to her meaning and the image it leaves in her readers minds.

Morrison inspires me to write truth. To write my stories without tailoring them to mollify the sensibilities of one group of readers or another. She was determined not to write literature that catered exclusively to a white audience, and if you have read Beloved or Tar Baby you will know that she held nothing back. She paved a way for the writers who choose to walk in and therefore enlarge the mark her footsteps have left.

Morrison inspires me to persevere. Although she was a storyteller as a child, she did not write her first novel until she was in her late 30’s, yet she completed almost a dozen substantive novels before passing away this year. Her work reminds us that once we are alive there are stories that we must tell.

Although I did not read this quote from Morrision until after I wrote my first book, it epitomizes the motivation for my journey into being an author and publisher.

I purposely used the present tense here, she inspires me. Her passing from this world does not mean an end to her influence. Her legacy will linger for as long as we read and understand the importance of literature. CNN reports that Morrison once said: “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”

Rest in peace Ms. Morrison. #tonimorrison

-Carol Mitchell

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E-Picture Books

CaribbeanReads put out our first kindle picture book back in 2012. It was Lion Paw and Oliver: An Unlikely Friendship, the first book in the Living the Beach Life series by Heidi Fagerberg.

Way back then…seven years is an eon when it comes to technology…the process for developing picture books that would be read on an electronic device was challenging and the results less than perfect.

Scholastic Biannual Report supports giving children access to books in all formats

We really wanted the books to be available in an e-version. We believe that one of the best ways to encourage children to read is ensure that books are visible and always within easy reach. E-books on their devices next to their other electronic activities, can be a way to encourage children to access books over and over again. So we persisted, and ended up putting the text and image on separate pages. This helped with the flow of the text but was not ideal for the beginning readers who love Heidi’s books.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, the technology has changed and it’s now easier to produce these books in an easy-to-read format, and we’ve updated the entire Living the Beach Life series and some of our other titles. The good news is that, if you’ve already bought an ebook it will automatically update the next time you open it while connected to the internet. If you haven’t got your ecopy of Heidi’s books, check it out. Ebooks are a great alternative for entertaining little ones.

CaribbeanReads picture book titles with e-versions (all books will be converted soon):

No need to wait for your book to arrive, start reading today!

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Joanne C. Hillhouse’s books on sale at Best of Books Antigua

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Greyborn Rising Hard cover

As of July 1, you now have three ways to enjoy Greyborn Rising, paperback, kindle, and it is now available in hardcover. Check out this fantastic new novel set in a fantasy version of Trinidad where there are three parallel realms; the Grey where Greyborn—preternatural creatures of legend live; the Ether which is the realm of Heaven and Hell; and the Absolute where humans make their home, blissfully unaware of the tripartite nature of their world. Read to find out how Rohan, a member of The Order, fights to protect the world from the rising of the Greyborn.

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