In a debut historical novel about the Great Migration a boy discovers Chicago's postwar South Side and the poetry of Langston Hughes. When 11-year-old Langston's mother dies in 1946, he and his father leave rural Alabama for Chicago's brown belt as a part of what came to be known as the Great Migration. It's lonely in the small apartment with just the two of them, and at school Langston is bullied. But his new home has one fantastic thing. Unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the local public library welcomes everyone. There, hiding out after school, Langston discovers another Langston, a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.
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"In a light Southern drawl, narrator Dion Graham delivers the achingly mournful story of 11-year-old Langston. This first novel gracefully explores many themes of post-WWII African-American life through the first-person narrative of its young protagonist. Langston's beloved mother has died, and in an attempt to escape both memories and discrimination, his father joins the Great Migration, moving them from Alabama to Chicago. Graham's immersive performance, with his finely tuned accents and measured pacing, connects listeners to Langston's anguish. He misses his mother and grandmother, and feels out of place and bullied at school. But he finds joy at a public library that celebrates the heroes of African-American literature, introducing him to the poetry of his namesake, Langston Hughes. An excellent choice for family listening. S.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphone Award © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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