A Blessing In Disguise

Overview

Life in itsy bitsy countrified do-nothing Deacon's Neck is plain boring to 12-year-old Zambia Brown. Living with Aunt Limo, Uncle Lamar, and nerdy cousin Aretha is all church, chores, and chump change. But when Zambia's father, Vernon (Snake) LaRange, opens a hot new nightclub down the road, things get more interesting. The neighborhood is up in arms, but Zambia has visions of living large now that Snake is nearby. He's got fine cars, flashy jewelry, and loads of cash. And no matter what her aunt and uncle say, ...
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Cover Art N. Y. 1996 Soft Cover 1st Good. No Jacket Paper. 12mo-over 6?"-7?" tall. X-Library with normal flaws......The soft cover has light shelf wear. Light yellowing ... pages.........Check out our books on tape..........We are very careful when we list our books, but sometimes something minor may get by...... Read more Show Less

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Overview

Life in itsy bitsy countrified do-nothing Deacon's Neck is plain boring to 12-year-old Zambia Brown. Living with Aunt Limo, Uncle Lamar, and nerdy cousin Aretha is all church, chores, and chump change. But when Zambia's father, Vernon (Snake) LaRange, opens a hot new nightclub down the road, things get more interesting. The neighborhood is up in arms, but Zambia has visions of living large now that Snake is nearby. He's got fine cars, flashy jewelry, and loads of cash. And no matter what her aunt and uncle say, Snake must want Zambia in his life, too...right?

Twelve-year-old Zambia thinks that life with her aunt and uncle in Deacons Neck, South Carolina, is boring and dreams of going to live with her smooth-talking, fast-living father, until she gets to know the darker side of his world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The witty and sassy-but sadly innocent-voice of narrator Zambia Brown instantly grabs readers' attention in this concluding volume of the trilogy begun in The Secret of Gumbo Grove and Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.! For the past eight years, ever since her mother entered the hospital where she remains even now, 12-year-old Zambia has been raised by straitlaced Uncle Lamar and Aunt Limo in ``itsy-bitsy, countrified, do-nothing Deacons Neck'' on the South Carolina coast. She daydreams about moving in with her slick, shady-dealing father, Snake, who lives with ``a lady named Sissy'' and their 15-year-old twin daughters. When Snake opens another of his ``boss'' nightclubs on Zambia's block, Lamar, Limo and others in their African American community are up in arms. But Zambia is dazzled-longing desperately for a shred of love from Snake, she stops just short of self-destruction in her attempts to attain it. Snappy dialogue convincingly suggests these characters' love of life, against which Tate artfully, and disturbingly, juxtaposes darker feelings-``I'd give anything to see a shooting,'' Zambia declares-and real tragedy. Ages 8-12. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Zambia Brown, 12, is black and lives in Deacon's Neck, SC, with her aunt and uncle. She thinks her father, Snake, who is involved in a number of criminal activities, and her two older half sisters are exciting, and would love to live with them. She thinks the town is dull; she thinks her uncle and aunt are dull. To gain acceptance from her neglectful father, who is practically a stranger to her, she would do anything he asks. When given a choice, she opts to live with him, and he disappoints and humiliates her. Along the way, Zambia learns some valuable lessons about responsibility and caring, about loyalty and honesty. In the end, she learns to appreciate her uncle and her aunt and to recognize that a community has to be protected from those who would destroy it, no matter who the would-be destroyers are. This is a timely book that speaks to the subject of drugs and crime in a rural Southern town, and a valuable addition to most collections.-Carol Jones Collins, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440412090
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/2/1996
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Acclaimed author Eleanora E. Tate feels strongly about creativity. "A nation survives by the creativity of its people who perpetuate the arts. When the arts decline, the nation declines; when the arts flourish, the nation flourishes." The essential thing, she believes, is "telling your message to the world."

Tate has been getting her message out with great power and impact. Her first young adult novel, Just an Overnight Guest, was made into a film starring Rosalind Cash and Richard Roundtree. It was named to the "Selected Films for Young Adults 1985" list by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association. Her second novel, The Secret of Gumbo Grove, is a 1987 Parents' Choice Award winner.

Ideas come to her from many sources. The Secret of Gumbo Grove sprang from a three-part series of articles published in The Charleston Chronicle. It was about an old, weedy cemetery in Myrtle Beach where many of the resort's African-American founders are buried.

Also a journalist, Eleanora E. Tate comes from Canton, Missouri, and has written professionally for over 25 years. She is a former president of the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. Tate is married to photographer Zack Hamlett, III, and they live in Morehead City, North Carolina.

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First Chapter

An Excerpt from A Blessing in Disguise



"Well, I can't understand why you hot to call him names and say bad things
like it's all his fault." I jumped up. "You don't understand either. He's
rich and got sharp clothes and big cars and gives me money, and . . . and,
no matter what, he's still my dad!"

"If he was all that great, he'd have given you his last name, too, but he
didn't!" Uncle Lamar jumped up too.

"See, you keep talking mean about him. Snake said I could go live with him
if I wanted, and he'll buy me all kinds of stuff, and he won't want me to
have to stay here no more." I stamped out of the living room. . . .

"I don't have to stay here," I screamed. "I hate you!"

"Then you go on to him! Go on!" Uncle Lamar snatched up his cap and jammed
it down on his head. "I've tried to raise you like a father would, but I
don't want nobody in my house who won't respect me. He's your father,
true, but he's no good. You'll never get that through your hard head till
he whops you on it."

After he left the room I wiped my face on a paper towel and blew my nose.
Uncle Lamar told me to go, didn't he? God, now I'd have to! I pressed my
lips together to keep away the fear. Well, I'd show him. I'd go,
all right--I'd go right over to my father's club and tell my father I was
ready for him to take me in, like he said he would.



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