Diaries of a Light-Skinned Colored Boy

Overview

Fourteen-year-old Hammond Dewayne Jeter -- called "Ham Bone" by his friends -- isn't into sports like everyone else in his school. Football and cheerleading just aren't his thing, even though his best friend, superathlete Elijah Lee Davis, dreams of life in the sports lane. What Ham Bone wants to do is be a wrier. And living through the first real wave of integration in Arkansas's public schools in the 1970s, he's got plenty to write about.

Told through private entries from ...

See more details below
This Hardcover is Not Available through BN.com
Note: Visit our Teens Store.
Sending request ...

Overview

Fourteen-year-old Hammond Dewayne Jeter -- called "Ham Bone" by his friends -- isn't into sports like everyone else in his school. Football and cheerleading just aren't his thing, even though his best friend, superathlete Elijah Lee Davis, dreams of life in the sports lane. What Ham Bone wants to do is be a wrier. And living through the first real wave of integration in Arkansas's public schools in the 1970s, he's got plenty to write about.

Told through private entries from Hammond's secret journal, Diaries of a Light-Skinned Colored Boy is at once a poignant, funny, and unforgettable portrait of growing up black and male during one of the most controversial times in America's history. This is the first book in a trilogy by bestselling author E. Lynn Harris, and his first novel for young adults.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Bestselling author E. Lynn Harris tells of one boy's struggle growing up in Arkansas in the 1970s. Integration in schools is just beginning, and this 14-year-old has more on his mind than sports. Determined to be a writer, he keeps a journal to document all his experiences.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786806324
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
  • Publication date: 9/1/2020
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.54 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

E. Lynn Harris
How to categorize E. Lynn Harris? An African-American novelist? A gay novelist? A literary romance writer? Nothing quite fits, but to Harris’s fans, his bestselling novels belong in a genre of their own: one in which the characters are as difficult and complex as their problems, and the solutions as bittersweet and resonant as they often are in life.

Biography

Jackie Collins has kept the literary romance world well stocked with claws-out, upper-crust melodramas. But until E. Lynn Harris came along, the genre lacked a little ... diversity. Harris brought diversity and then some, with his now-trademark "buppie" characters, questions about sexuality, and hopelessly (but deliciously) complicated relationships.

Written from both male and female points of view and featuring recurring characters, Harris's books can be read as a veritable soap opera. The cycle begins with Invisible Life, the story of Raymond Winston Tyler Jr. -- a character Harris has acknowledged bears many similarities to himself. Raymond grapples with his sexuality, developing a relationship with a man he meets in law school and jeopardizing one with his girlfriend. His coming-of-age continues over the next two novels in the trilogy, Just As I Am and Abide with Me, as he struggles with losses of friends to AIDS, the ending of a relationship with an actress, and the beginning of a new one with a man.

Another recurring Harris character, Basil Henderson, is the man readers love to hate. An arrogant, badass football player-turned-sports agent, Basil beds both women and men until he meets up with his female (and later, male) counterparts. His story is mainly told in Not a Day Goes By and Any Way the Wind Blows.

It's true that in the Basil Henderson books, Harris is taking a saucy cue or two from his female romance novel predecessors; but the author claims to be more heavily influenced by writers such as Maya Angelou and Terry McMillan, and it would be misleading to pigeonhole his books as purely guilty pleasures. Particularly in his earlier books, Harris brought to a mainstream readership the issues that many gay and bisexual men face, and added a new voice to the portrayal of black, upwardly mobile characters. And in books such as If This World Were Mine and the young adult novel Diaries of a Light-Skinned Colored Boy, he has addressed issues of race and self-realization.

Given his themes, it may seem surprising that the majority of Harris's readers are straight women; but it's also a testament to his ability to write about love and self-discovery with humor, not to mention a little steaminess.

Good To Know

Harris worked as a salesman for IBM, and earned a following by self-publishing Invisible Life before getting a book deal.

He was tapped to write the screenplay for an update of the 1976 movie Sparkle, to be produced by Whitney Houston's production company. But with the death of Aaliyah, who was attached to star, the project's future is uncertain.

He lived most of his adult life in Chicago, Illinois.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 20, 1955
    2. Place of Birth:
      Flint, Michigan
    1. Date of Death:
      July 23, 2009
    2. Place of Death:
      Los Angeles, California

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)