Review Detail

 
Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

A mystery full of history and heart

Jin's grandparents own a bodega in Harlem, and she likes to watch people from her out-of-the-way quiet nook and write her observations in a special notebook. Alex spends as much time as she can helping the needy in the neighborhood as she tries to hide the fact that her parents are ridiculously wealthy. Elvin was recently sent from California to New York to stay with the grandfather he didn't even know existed, and now his grandfather has been attacked and seriously injured, and Elvin is living on the streets to avoid Child Protective Services.

These three very different kids team up in THE HARLEM CHARADE first for a history project, and then to solve the mystery of Elvin's grandfather's attack and the disappearance of paintings that are a part of Harlem's history.

THE HARLEM CHARADE by Natasha Tarpley explores the rich history of the Harlem neighborhood, and it weaves an interesting mystery into that. Jin, Alex, and Elvin are great characters with intriguing backstories, and Halmoni, Jin's grandmother, is wonderful, too. I really enjoyed the emphasis on community and the importance of art and history. Tarpley did a nice job tying those themes to the book's plot, and the pacing is such that my interest was held page after page.

Harlem is as much a character in the book as any of the people portrayed, and I enjoyed traveling the streets of it with Jin, Alex, and Elvin as they worked through the twists and turns of the mystery in which they found themselves. There are some Scooby-Doo elements to the book, and I kept expecting the adults to call Jin, Alex, and Elvin "meddling kids" (which thankfully didn't happen), and this is a fun read with some truly insightful moments. The

My thanks to the publisher and YA Books Central for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Good Points
A focus on community, art, and history
An opportunity to explore Harlem
Interesting and informative Author's Note
Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

UFO Spotted!: A Branches Book (Hilde Cracks the Case #4)
Pick a book. Grow a Reader! ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ghoulia
Ghoulia lives in Crumbling Manor with her Auntie Departed and...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lights, Camera, Carmen! (Carmen #2)
In the vein of Eloise, Olivia, and Fancy Nancy, Carmen...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Love, Life, and the List
Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned....
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Incredible True Story of the Making of the Eve of Destruction
Arkansas, 1984: The town of Griffin Flat is known for...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention
Discover how science, nature and history connect in this fast-paced,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down
When the speediest family in the world finds a sweet,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
My Little Golden Book About the Solar System
Little Golden Books introduces your young reader to the solar...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Enlightenment by Reno Ursal
When Dorothy Dizon meets the mysterious Adrian Rosario and his...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Flash: The Secret Files of Barry Allen: The Ultimate Guide to the Hit TV Show
My name is Barry Allen. You probably know me as...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An Assassin's Guide to Love & Treason
When Lady Katherine's father is killed for being an illegally...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Blood Spell
Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ogre Enchanted
In this prequel to Ella Enchanted, which can stand on...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Home and Away
Tasia Quirk is young, Black, and fabulous. She's a senior,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mirage
In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dactyl Hill Squad
It's 1863 and dinosaurs roam the streets of New York...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Love, Life, and the List
 
4.3
"Abby's goal in life is to become a serious artist. Her hope is to get into a special art camp...."
The Incredible True Story of the Making of the Eve of Destruction
 
3.0
"It's 1984 and Laura Ratliff is a high school student with issues beyond a typical sixteen-year-old. Her mom and her..."
Beyond a Darkened Shore
 
4.7
"Top 4 Reasons to Grab BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE immediately: 1.) Historical fantasy worldbuilding: My biggest genre weakness..."
Onyx and Ivory
 
4.0
"Top 5 Reasons to Read Onyx and Ivory: 1.) The magic: Kate lives in a world where there are..."
The Flash: The Secret Files of Barry Allen: The Ultimate Guide to the Hit TV Show
 
5.0
"THE FLASH: THE SECRET FILES OF BARRY ALLEN is the perfect guide for the Flash tv show. The layout of..."
An Assassin's Guide to Love & Treason
 
4.0
"AN ASSASSIN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & TREASON by Virginia Boecker is such a breath of fresh air. It’s a YA..."
Giant Days
 
4.7
"Susan, Daisy and Esther are very different women, but they become fast friends after meeting on their college dorm floor...."
The Blood Spell
 
5.0
"Blue de la Cour enjoys her quiet life with her father, passing the days by working in the shop and..."
Mother Tongue
 
5.0
"As MOTHER TONGUE by Julie Mayhew begins, eighteen-year-old Darya envisions the bits of freedom she'll enjoy once her little sister,..."
Dungeons & Dragons: Into the Jungle: An Endless Quest Book
 
3.7
"Consider this a sort of D&D primer for intro-level youth. Told in second-person present-tense, this fantasy is styled after..."
Dungeons & Dragons: Big Trouble: An Endless Quest Book
 
3.0
"Told in second-person present-tense, this fantasy is styled after the beloved choose-your-own-adventure books of yore. It also features a vast..."
Parasite Life
 
4.7
"Jane is stuck in a creepy old house with her invalid mother. She has no idea why her mother is..."
Hearts Unbroken
 
N/A
"There are a lot of entry-points to the storylines in Cynthia Leitich Smith's Hearts Unbroken. I recommend this book especially..."
With Malice
 
5.0
"I loved this book, it kept me thinking afterwards for days. "The truth is how you tell it," take that..."
IF I FIX YOU
 
5.0
"The book is more like a 4.5 but I am going to give it a 5 star read because the..."
Enchantée
 
4.0
"After the death of her parents to smallpox, Camille Durbonne struggles to get by with her younger sister Sofie. One..."
The Penderwicks at Last
 
5.0
"THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST is the last in the series of Jeanne Birdsall's books about the Penderwick family. In this..."
Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms)
 
5.0
""Ever the Hunted" is an incredible YA fantasy with a touch of romance. The story begins with Britta, starving and..."
Bud, Not Buddy
 
4.7
"Bud not Buddy is awesome! im in year 9 and im reading it in school for an assignment. On the..."
The Star-Touched Queen
 
3.3
"I enjoyed this rich world. I felt like I was there seeing the lure with my own eyes. I loved..."