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Leaving Atlanta
     

Leaving Atlanta

3.9 10
by Tayari Jones
 

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An award-winning author makes her fiction debut with this coming-of-age story of three young black children set against the backdrop of the Atlanta child murders of 1979.

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Leaving Atlanta 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
misstoriahill More than 1 year ago
Leaving Atlanta is the first book I've read from this author. I really enjoyed it a lot. I would recommend this book to people who like to read about true events from different points of views. For example, the whole story is basically about the twenty-nine kidnappings and murders of young elementary school kids that occurred in Atlanta in 1979- 1980. The story is being told through three different points of views; all of them being from children. Not only do they talk about the murders and kidnappings, but they go into the lives of the fictional characters and tell another story as well. When people are younger, almost everyone struggles to be accepted one way or another into a group of friends or people we aspired to be like or befriend. For the three main characters in the story each of their struggles are different; from parents being separated to wanting to be in the "cool kids" group at school. Not only do the young elementary school kids have to handle the pressures of everyday life and stress, but they have to fight the fear of the murders and kidnappings of the kids in their community; some of which are not only their own age, but their classmates. I enjoyed this book mainly because of the different perspective taken to tell the story. I feel like it's a very accurate depiction of what a child that age during the time of the tragedies would feel. For myself, not being too far off from the age of the children in the story, and having gone through a lot of what the characters go through in the story, I feel like the writing in this book catches the mind and emotions that a child would feel perfectly. I haven't read any books similar to Leaving Atlanta, but I plan to read more books by this author in the future.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a well-written piece that not only allows us to experience that period in Atlanta from a child's perspective, but it also intricately ties in the effect each child's socioeconomic background and upbringing has on their thought process. Definitely recommended for 11-14 year olds.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story to me is all about remembering your childhood. It mainly tells how these children were raise. The story is told through the eyes of the children, which makes it even more interesting. It will have you thinking back on the good old days, when you didn't have a care in the world. But during the time of this story, these children were robbed of some of their youth, because they had to worry about children being taken away from home by strangers. It tells how they are feeling during this aweful time in their lives and how they dealt with it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about more than just the Atlanta child murders, it's about how children learn to deal with all the scary things in life. The best thing about this book is Tayari Jones' magnificent ability to capture the inner-workings of a child's mind when dealing with everyday problems and when forced to deal with extremely 'grown-up' tragedies. Jones does a superb job of juxtaposing seemingly trivial childhood problems, such as who to sit with at lunch, with the very serious problem of kidnapping. The interesting thing is that Jones explores both ends of the spectrum without trivializing either set of problems. For example, many readers will recall feeling deathly afraid of being labled an outcast by the 'popular' kids in school, an issue faced in the book by Tasha, Rodney and Octavia. And when the kidnappings start, Jones provides just as much insight into the children's minds, as their lives are forced to change. As adults, we sometimes forget that every challenge can seem like a potential devastation in the mind of a child. So the novel almost seems to ask us questions such as, which is scarier: the fear of disappointing your father or being kidnapped by a stranger? These are the issues that are explored by this novel. The answers aren't simple or clearly defined. The book suceeds in reminding us that no matter what life throws at a child, they somehow manage. As we read about Tasha, Rodney and Octavia we remember that EVERYTHING about childhood was scary. Just because adults try to make children believe some situations are more serious than others, kids don't always see it that way. Tayari Jones does an excellent job of letting the reader into the minds of children of Atlanta during that time...and we learn that adding the fear of kidnapping into the mix was just one more scary thing they had to deal with.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1979, fear grips the black community in Atlanta as someone is killing the children. The younger generation knows what is happening to some of their peers as the TV and especially their parents never stop talking about the missing children. However, there are more pressing concerns than missing or dead children as one must survive the social climate of elementary school.

In that environment Tasha struggles with wanting desperately to be part of the in crowd, but also must deal with the separation of her parents. Weird Rodney can¿t worry about some murderer, as he just wants to please his father, who has the uncanny ability to embarrass him in front of his classmates. A loner not expecting much from anyone and though only a fifth grader, Octavia is brilliant at hiding her feelings, but still wishes her mother would be more truthful about life and keep her junkie boyfriends away from both of them. The innocence of youth ends when classmates begin appearing on the nightly news as missing and probably dead.

LEAVING ATLANTA is an interesting spin on the black children murders of 1979-1980 that brought fear to the community. The story line focuses on the three children trying to gain different types of acceptance even as the unknown threat scares everyone they know. Readers will enjoy the insight of these three fifth graders, but be warned that this is not a happy ending, as twenty-nine kids died during the serial killings.

Harriet Klausner