"Noni Carter was only a child when she first conceived of this story of a young girl's journey from freedom to slavery and back to ultimate freedombut her debut novel is written with wisdom and heart far beyond her years. Well researched and delightfully well-written, Good Fortune is an empowering testament to history that will move readers both young and old." Tananarive Due, American Book Award-winning author of The Black Rose and Joplin's Ghost
"Noni Carter is an old wise soul in the body of a beautiful young woman. She has listened to the elders and the ancestors and brought us a story from the past that gives hope to our present and future. " Bertice Berry, author of Redemption Song and The Ties That Bind
"Few young novelists have the gift, range, and courage to tackle the sin of Slavery. Noni Carter does just that. And she does it well. Read Good Fortune and know that she has that rare quality of a natural storytellersimple, poetic, and intensely emotional. This is extraordinary writing, rich in history, full of triumph." Kwame Alexander, author of Crush: Love Poems, and founder of Book-in-a-Day, Inc.
"Noni Carter is an important new voice in black literature. Get on board now because we'll be hearing from her for a long, long time." Reginald Hudlin, producer/director of House Party and Boomerang and author of The Black Panther Series
Gr 9 Up—Sarah, Anna, and Ayanna are the names used by one person over the course of her life. First she is Sarah, a slave on a plantation in Tennessee. Her days are full of endless labor, humiliation, and the threat of rape. She struggles to understand the meaning of freedom and to educate herself despite the danger. After witnessing a brutal whipping, she flees north to freedom. Barely surviving the harrowing journey, Sarah and her adopted brother arrive in Ohio, only to find that freedom is not as sweet as she had hoped. She changes her name to Anna and begins a new life, but she worries about loved ones left behind and is embittered by the severe restrictions and discrimination faced by free blacks. One of the more effective literary devices is how Anna's narration gradually shifts from slave patois to more refined speech as her education progresses. Ayanna was her name as a child in Africa, remembered in nightmares, where the memories of the murder of her mother, the horrifying ocean passage in the belly of a slave ship, and being separated from her brother on the auction block haunt her. The transitions between the dreams and waking life are occasionally jarring, but on the whole the narrative flows smoothly and is well paced. An author's note about fact and fiction in the book adds weight to the historical information included.—Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VA