Spotlight on Paradise On Fire (Jewell Parker Rhodes), Excerpt, Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're spotlighting Paradise On Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes!
Read on for more about Jewell, her book, and giveaway!
Meet Jewell Parker Rhodes!
Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of Ninth Ward, winner of a Coretta Scott King Honor; Sugar, winner of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award; and the New York Times-bestselling Ghost Boys; as well as Bayou Magic; Towers Falling; Black Brother, Black Brother; and Paradise on Fire. She has written many award-novels for adults, including, MAGIC CITY, a novel about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Jewell is the Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair of Creative Writing at Arizona State University. Visit her online at jewellparkerrhodes.com.
Meet Paradise On Fire!
From award-winning and bestselling author Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age survival tale exploring issues of race, class, and climate change
Addy is haunted by the tragic fire that killed her parents, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Now, years later, Addy’s grandmother has enrolled her in a summer wilderness program. There, Addy joins five other Black city kids—each with their own troubles—to spend a summer out west.
Deep in the forest the kids learn new (and to them) strange skills: camping, hiking, rock climbing, and how to start and safely put out campfires. Most important, they learn to depend upon each other for companionship and survival.
But then comes a devastating forest fire…
Addy is face-to-face with her destiny and haunting past. Developing her courage and resiliency against the raging fire, it’s up to Addy to lead her friends to safety. Not all are saved. But remembering her origins and grandmother’s teachings, she’s able to use street smarts, wilderness skills, and her spiritual intuition to survive.
~ Excerpt ~
“There’s always a way out,” Grandma Bibi whispers. “Use your mind, your heart.” Her arthritic fingers
poke my chest.
Closing my eyes, I smell her red bush tea, the shea butter she rubs on her skin. Her spirit is alive,
But Grandma Bibi isn’t here.
Here is a packed airplane. The plane is leveling off, engines murmuring steadily. Two bells. The
seat belt sign blinks off. We’re flying high.
I grab my pencil and notepad from my backpack and draw. I remember the flight attendant,
walking the aisle, pointing at emergency exit doors.
I quickly sketch row after row. (I block the front exit with an X.) The closest exits are ahead of
me. Row 18. Exits on the left and right. These are my escape doors.
If the plane falls, drops through the sky, I need to rush from row 23 to row 18. I’m in the window
seat. I need to get past the two kids sitting on my right. Should I go forward or back? If the aisle is
packed, then what? Retreat to my seat? Cling, swing, window shade to window shade to safety? Climb
over seats? What’s the best path?
I underline ESCAPE three times.
I roll my eyes. Press my pencil, snapping the lead. My new line is blurred, crooked. Blocking the
“I’m Jay,” says the boy next to me. “Jay from Brooklyn.”
Jay has a high-top fade with precision cuts on the sides. His brows bushy, his eyes brown, he’s
the cocky know‑it‑all type.
He doesn’t know me. I keep drawing, mapping space, mirroring row upon row. Sketching
arrows, leading to possible paths out.
Paradise On Fire
Author: Jewell Parker Rhodes
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: September 14th, 2021
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