Tag Archives: Joanne C. Hillhouse

Friendship Goals

We read for enjoyment, but literature plays an important role in human development, and one of those roles is teaching us about being a good friend. When we read, we live vicariously through the characters, we observe the way they respond to situations and think about how we would respond faced with the same stimuli. In that way, books are a little like flight simulators. Continue reading

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Fictional Females of CaribbeanReads

The way women are portrayed in literature has evolved over time and in CaribbeanReads’ books, you find female characters who represent the diversity of characteristics that women, in reality, are. So today we will highlight some of the girls and women who play a role in CaribbeanReads’ literature- the characters. Continue reading

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Musical Youth named one of 100 best books reviewed by Kirkus Reviews in 2020!

Kirkus Reviews has selected the second edition of Musical Youth as one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Indie Books of 2020. The news will be shared in Kirkus newsletters going out today and on their website on December 21,2020.

Carol Mitchell of CaribbeanReads stated that “CaribbeanReads’ books have received very positive Kirkus Reviews in the past, but this is our first starred review, so we are very excited. To have Musical Youth chosen as one of the top 100 books by an Indie publisher this year is even more gratifying. It is a wonderful book and this is well-deserved.” Continue reading

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** Starred ** Kirkus Review of Musical Youth

Kirkus Review of Musical Youth

Receiving reviews is always a bit nerve-wracking. When you publish in a niche, there is always the chance that the reviewer completely misses the point of the book. That said, when we received notification that a Kirkus Review of Musical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse was available, we were excited to open it up. Continue reading

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First CaribbeanReads’ Reading Guide

Just in time for your next reading club, we have a discussion guide for Musical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse. This is a YA novel, but it’s enjoyed by adults as well. So whether you are a teen or an adult, your reading club will love this multi-cultural musical romance. The free reading guide contains a list of discussion questions for your book club and guidelines for using Musical Youth in the classroom.

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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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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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2019 (to date) Books in Reviews

It’s July, and while it seems like just yesterday we heralded in an infant 2019 with fireworks and fanfare, it’s almost grown and already has more time behind it than in front.

CaribbeanReads books have received some love from our readers this year and we wanted to share some of the comments with you.

Musical Youth (about to enter its second edition) has a five star rating on Amazon and GoodReads, but its reach is growing beyond those well-trodden paths to include reviews on Instagram and on personal web pages including foreign language pages. Here are two of our favorites:
*Read more on Joanne’s blog. We were kind of blown away by all the great feedback.

  • “I first recognized the weight of her work by the response of the teens to her book, Musical Youth , in the Grenada Community Library. It remains one of the most popular books with teens, despite their tendency to shun Caribbean literature when they have a choice because they are required to read it in schools.” – Oonya Kempadoo, author of Buxton Spice
  • In April we came across a review in French from a blog titled myinsaeng. You can read the french review here and the English translation here, but this is the last paragraph: “To my knowledge, there is no French translation available, much less Creole, but I hope that “Musical Youth” will become a classic of literature for generations to come. And why not an audiovisual adaptation to immortalize this illustration of our time?”
  • “I love the little loving details that go into making a book that much more special, like the musical staff here on every new chapter of #MusicalYouth by @jhohadli . If you’re looking for a great YA summer read that’s also got some depth, check this one out. It’s all about learning to work together, the effects of colourism, coming out of your shell, and embracing your own self worth. I will read this one again at some point!…It’s a heart-warming Antiguan YA that’s pretty quick and easy to get through. 🌴🌺🌊📖Would highly recommend!” –beauty.on.the.bookshelf  on Instagram

Greyborn Rising, released in May 2019 has received a lot of reader praise. The main theme seemed to be that the book is impossible to put down.

  • An excellent read that I would highly recommend. Well researched and artfully written. I learned a lot while being entertained. Characters are well developed and you will not be able to put this book down. 
  • Greyborn Rising is a book I truly enjoyed.  From the first pages I felt captivated and entertained. The more I read the more I became interested in the characters and their challenges and successes. My favorite character is Katharine the soucouyant and once you read the book you will see why. 

Tata and the Big Bad Bull has received great praise from key educators and authors, and also from publications such as the Midwest Review and the Old Schoolhouse Magazine. The review love continued in 2019…

  • In an article entitled “Overcoming Barriers to Education in Tata and the Big Bad Bull,” Anansesem contributor, Shanimarie Ogilvie, reviews this CaribbeanReads title by author and poet, Juleus Ghunta. She refers to the book’s protagonist as a “universally relatable character,” and points out how “Ghunta’s use of rhyme…engages the reader.” She describes the narrative as “brisk” and the plot as “spirited.”
    Read the full review in the beautifully designed full color PDF edition of the May 2019 Anansesem book review issue.

The Masquerade Dance released in April 2019. Reviews are still in coming in, but we loved this one from one of our own, Joanne C. Hillhouse.

  • In summary, Joanne C. Hillhouse comments: “Nicely done; quick (and colourful) read overall and good for classroom or reading club story time.” Read her entire review here.

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

https://visitantiguabarbuda.com/destinations/best-of-books-novels-special?fbclid=IwAR2xX7G2DKxWnT2JX-pOPRqHwnKQ3UCZmQuEpjbSfRWe-bnrtU2hrQ-ZfeQ

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Not One But Two Spanish Titles from CaribbeanReads

CaribbeanReads’ first Spanish language titles will make their debut at the Miami Book Fair Street Fair November 16-18. The beloved Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure which reimagines the true story of an Arctic seal which found itself stranded in the waters off Antigua and Barbuda, is now available in Spanish. Also in Spanish is our most recent title, Sweet Victory (Dulce Victoria). Check them out at online retailers and bookstores near you.

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