The Harlem Charade

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
438 0
The Harlem Charade
Age Range
8+
Release Date
April 24, 2018
ISBN
978-0545783880
Buy This Book
      
WATCHER. SHADOW. FUGITIVE.

Harlem is home to all kinds of kids. Jin sees life passing her by from the window of her family's bodega. Alex wants to help the needy one shelter at a time, but can't tell anyone who she really is. Elvin's living on Harlem's cold, lonely streets, surviving on his own after his grandfather was mysteriously attacked.

When these three strangers join forces to find out what happened to Elvin's grandfather, their digging leads them to an enigmatic artist whose missing masterpieces are worth a fortune -- one that might save the neighborhood from development by an ambitious politician who wants to turn it into Harlem World, a ludicrous historic theme park. But if they don't find the paintings soon, nothing in their beloved neighborhood will ever be the same...

In this remarkable tale of daring and danger, debut novelist Natasha Tarpley explores the way a community defines itself, the power of art to show truth, and what it really means to be home.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A mystery full of history and heart
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
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
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in...
Butterfly Yellow
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Ibi Zoboi, and Erika...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The definitive collection of art, poetry, and prose, celebrating fat...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she...
Cog
Cog
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cog looks like a normal twelve-year-old boy. But his name...
Homerooms and Hall Passes
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the mystical realm of Bríandalör, every day the brave...
Susan B. Anthony: The Making of America #4
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the fourth installment in the Making of America series,...
Hazel's Theory of Evolution
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hazel knows a lot about the world. That’s because when...
Sublime Karma
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Brie’s stepfather moves the family for what he...
Goddess Ascending
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Promised to the Light. Hunted by the Dark. Two...
Crown of Coral and Pearl
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and...
#Murderfunding (#MurderTrending, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
WELCOME TO WHO WANTS TO BE A PAINIAC?, the...
Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Harry Black is lost between the world of war...
Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in...
The Lady Rogue
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and...

Latest Member Reviews

 
5.0
"Tristan Strong isn't doing too well. He lost his best friend, Eddie, in a bus accident, lost a boxing match,..."
Cog
Cog
 
4.0
"Cog looks like an ordinary twelve year old boy, but he is an advanced android that the scientists at uniMind..."
Hazel's Theory of Evolution
 
4.0
"Hazel lives on a farm with her two mothers and her older brother Rowan. They have a heard of goats..."
Homerooms and Hall Passes
 
5.0
"Albiorix is a young Medieval wizard from the mystical realm of Bríandalör who is Hall Master for the role playing..."
The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away
 
3.0
"THE OWLS HAVE COME TO TAKE US AWAY is a middle grade sci-fi/horror (though not too scary) that follows a..."
A Very Pikmi Halloween (Pikmi Pops)
 
4.0
"Celebrate Halloween with the Pikmi Pops in this cute story about friendship. Wubbs the Bat and Vampy the Bat are..."
Apocalypse Taco
 
4.0
"APOCALYPSE TACO is a horror graphic novel that follows two middle school aged boys, Axl and Ivan. Axl and Ivan..."
Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue
 
4.0
"Kitty wants to be a superhero like her mom, but she's afraid to go out in the dark. Her mom..."
Little Penguin's New Friend
 
4.0
"'Little Penguin's New Friend' by Tadgh Bentley is a cute story about the making of a friendship despite misconceptions about..."
Naked Mole Rat Saves the World
 
4.0
"NAKED MOLE RAT SAVES THE WORLD tells the story of kit, whose name is lowercase because she was too small..."
The 12th Candle
 
4.0
"Sage lives out west in the town of Goldview, and her family is cursed. Years ago, her mother and her..."
Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball (Amelia Fang, #1)
 
4.0
"AMELIA FANG AND THE BARBARIC BALL is the first book in the Amelia Fang series, a fantasy/magical middle grade series..."
Amelia Fang and the Unicorns of Glitteropolis (Amelia Fang, #2)
 
4.5
"AMELIA FANG AND THE UNICORNS OF GLITTEROPOLIS is ultimately about harmful stereotypes, problems with misinformation, and the subversion of overly..."
Small World
 
5.0
"SMALL WORLD is a gorgeous celebration of growing up and following your dreams. When Nanda was born, her world was..."
On the First Day of Summer Vacation
 
3.5
"ON THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER VACATION uses the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas to present the fun..."
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants (The Questioneers, #2)
 
5.0
"Budding scientists, rejoice! The Questioneers is the perfect series to show you the how and to have some extra scientific..."
Bad Bella
 
4.0
"Bella lives with the McBrides, who have several small children and often forget Bella's needs. She gets in trouble for..."
Dear Justice League
 
5.0
"In this short, middle grade graphic novel, DC superheroes from the Justice League answer e mails from young fans. Superman..."
Shake It Off! (Wish #8)
 
4.0
"Bria has made some poor choices concerning friends and social media back home in Chicago, so her parents have decided..."
Babies Can Sleep Anywhere
 
4.0
"BABIES CAN SLEEP ANYWHERE is a cute rhyming book about sleep. The book goes through where animals sleep (e.g. puppy..."