Tag Archives: Reviews

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.”

The first edition of Musical Youth was not submitted for a Kirkus review because traditional reviews typically require a book to be submitted at least three months before publication and the Burt Award prize (which the book won in 2014) required that the book be published within a very tight deadline. The second edition, released after the first run of books sold out, opened the door for an opportunity to submit the book for review.

The Timeline

Kirkus Best Books of 2020 ReviewOctober: Kirkus Reviews raved about the second edition of Musical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse and gave it a coveted starred review given to “books of exceptional merit.”
November: They included Musical Youth in their print magazine. Only 10% of books reviewed are chosen to be in print.
December: They announced that Musical Youth was one of the top 100 Indie books they reviewed in 2020.

Get a free book!

CaribbeanReads is celebrating the news with a 24 hour free eBook download of Musical Youth AND Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure today December 16. Click on the links to get your free copy.

About Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews is an American company founded in 1933 and focused on providing reviews that are high in integrity, honest, and accessible. According to their website, they review more than 8,000 books per year, and award starred reviews to “books of exceptional merit.”

Contact CaribbeanReads for orders and more information.

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2020 Wrap Up

CaribbeanReads 2020 wins
It’s coming to that time of year, the end of 2020. Our latest mailing highlighted some of the highlights of the CaribbeanReads’ year, including the books published, our starred Kirkus review, and more. Feel free to join our mailing list, it will bring joy to your mailbox. And as always, check out our catalog to get all your Christmas or holiday gifts, for young and older.

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Kirkus Reviews highlights Musical Youth

Earlier this year, starred review from Kirkus Reviews. This review has now been selected to be featured in Kirkus Reviews November 1 Issue and will appear as one of the 35 reviews in the Indie section of the magazine. We are very excited about the opportunity especially since less than 10% of Kirkus Indie reviews are chosen for this.
Kirkus Review November 2020 features Musical Youth
Read an excerpt from the publication here.

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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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Review alert for Tata and the Big Bad Bull

Thanks to Kyra Houston who read Tata and the Big Bad Bull and took the time to write about her experience. Among other things, she indicated that “I’m an American who teaches English Literacy to Primary (Elementary) school aged children in Jamaica. I was in search of culturally relevant material to use in my class with children who need extra support in learning to read. I came across this book at the recommendation of a friend and I must say- I love this book!” Read her full review here.

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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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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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New Review for Tata and the Big Bad Bull

In an article entitled “Overcoming Barriers to Education in Tata and the Big Bad Bull,” Anansesem reviewer, 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.

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MBR – Another Great Review of Tata and the Big Bad Bull

The Midwest Book Review posted a very positive review of Tata and the Big Bad Bull by Juleus Ghunta.

“Written in musical verse, Tata and the Big Bad Bull is a West Indies morality tale, with more than one kernel of wisdom about human and animal relationships and interaction. … The colorful illustrations present animals as large, almost human creatures, and contain clues and context to the secrets of the story. All the musical verse is full of cheer and specific images of common island life… Tata and the Big Bad Bull is an island wisdom tale with messages of compassion for all.”

Nancy Lorraine
Senior Reviewer

Full review here.

Pick up a copy of Tata and the Big Bad Bull in bookstores or on Amazon. Read more reviews on GoodReads.

 

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