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Seth and Samona

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Overview

Seth and Samona are an unlikely pair--he's a quiet boy from a proper Haitian-American family, and Samona's the wildest girl in the fifth grade.  But he's her accomplice in every adventure.  When Samona decides to enter the Little Miss Dorchester pageant, Seth decides he's got to stop her --she'll never win!  But Samona has a big surprise in store for Seth.

Two Haitian American children deal with the ...

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Seth and Samona

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Overview

Seth and Samona are an unlikely pair--he's a quiet boy from a proper Haitian-American family, and Samona's the wildest girl in the fifth grade.  But he's her accomplice in every adventure.  When Samona decides to enter the Little Miss Dorchester pageant, Seth decides he's got to stop her --she'll never win!  But Samona has a big surprise in store for Seth.

Two Haitian American children deal with the problems of friendship, family life, and growing up.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The story dramatizes that 'normal' is neither static nor uniform...it's the variety of religions, family values, languages, ethnic customs, and individual personalities that vitalizes the neighborhood.  Readers will enjoy the irreverent fun."
--Booklist

"The dialogue and characterizations combine flawlessly to give Seth a loud, clear voice; through him, readers come to know Samona, who is a special person indeed."
--School Library Journal

Winner of the Second Annual Marguerite de Angeli Prize for Middle Grade novel.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While noting that this "ambitious" first novel, about a free-spirited girl and a quiet Haitian American boy, has a few too many story lines, PW praised the strong characterizations and said, "Hyppolite's promise is unmistakable." Ages 8-12. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-It is seldom that a story larded with messages is still such a good read. Hyppolite tells this one so well that readers won't mind, or notice, all the commercials. Fifth grader Seth Michelin is the youngest child in his Haitian immigrant family. Eccentric Samona Gemini has been a thorn in his side since third grade. They both come from loving and supportive, though widely different, families. Seth's relatives think Samona is wonderful, and he can't convince them that she is nothing but trouble. It isn't until she enters a beauty contest and begins maturing that Seth realizes just how much he values her friendship, little knowing that he is changing as well. Characters and situations ring true, from worrying about an upcoming wake to mediating fights between older siblings. The many caring, supportive adults are balanced out by life's realities, in this case an alcoholic aunt and a former gang-member brother. The plot is well defined and well paced, with just the right level of tension. The dialogue and characterization combine flawlessly to give Seth, who narrates the story, a loud, clear voice; through him, readers come to know Samona, who is a very special person indeed. Most chapters include a full-page, black-and-white pencil drawing.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375895081
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/6/2001
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 466,642
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanne Hyppolite was born in Haiti in 1969. Her family settled in the United States when she was four years old, and she grew up in Boston. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in creative writing and received her master's degree from the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in Florida, where she plans to pursue her goals of writing and teaching. Joanne is currently studying for her doctorate in Caribbean Literature.

Seth and Samona, her first novel, won the Second Annual Marguerite de Angeli Prize.

Hyppolite's most recent novel, Ola Shakes It Up, follows 9-year-old Ola as she shakes up the "cooperative community" of Walcott Corners in an effort to make it as lively as her old neighborhood of Roxbury.

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Read an Excerpt

I remember the first thing I thought, the day I met Samona Gemini. She was standing behind Mrs. Gray, our third-grade teacher, with her short hair cornrowed tight to her scalp and making one horrible face after another while Mrs. Gray introduced her to the class. That wasn't the worst part either. Right there in front of the entire third-grade class of Atticus Elementary, she was wearing a pair of underpants so red that you could see them through her white skirt. Everybody was giggling but all I could do was stare with shock. Right then and there I thought, "That Samona Gemini is one crazy girl and I plan to stay away from her." I remember it so well 'cause I've been saying the same thing for two years now, and though I try to stay away from girls as much as possible, that particular one has managed to make me her accomplice in trouble time and time again. Like last summer when she talked me into helping sell this all-natural homemade shampoo door-to-door 'cause it was gonna make us a million bucks but she forgot to tell everyone, including me, that the special ingredient in it was horse manure. The few people who used it were stinking for days after, and me and Samona had to hide out before they stopped looking for us. Or the time our class went on a field trip to the zoo and she said she knew a shortcut to the concession stands and landed us right in the middle of Monkey Paradise with the chimpanzees. We weren't allowed to go on field trips for the rest of the year.

    

An Excerpt from Seth and Samona

I remember the first thing I thought, the day I met Samona Gemini.  She was standing behind Mrs. Gray, our third-grade teacher, with her short hair cornrowed tight to her scalp and making one horrible face after another while
Mrs. Gray introduced her to the class.  That wasn't the worst part either.
Right there in front of the entire third-grade class of Atticus Elementary, she was wearing a pair of underpants so red that you could see them through her white skirt.  Everybody was giggling but all I could do was stare with shock.
Right then and there I thought, "That Samona Gemini is one crazy girl and I
plan to stay away from her."  I remember it so well 'cause I've been saying the same thing for two years now, and though I try to stay away from girls as much as possible, that particular one has managed to make me her accomplice in trouble time after time again.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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