I don’t know the right words to say what I am feeling. I am saddened it took these events happening in the world for me right now to write this post. Tiffany D. Jackson is my favorite YA author, and I tell people to read her work all of the time. But I don’t think I speak about it enough. I am not writing this to say, oh, I am a good person for sharing about a black writer. I am writing this to say as a black person, I should be doing better to post my fellow creators. I was just being blind to thinking it was okay to just sit by and not share more than just all of the white authors I tend to read more often. This is my own fault, and I am learning each day to be a better person.
Tiffany D. Jackson writes the best YA I have ever read. All of her books have gotten five stars from me, and I am so excited for her book coming out in September.
Here is a list of all of her books on her website.
I am going to be talking about my two favorite books by her, Allegedly and Monday’s Not Coming. I like these so much because I am a true crime fan, and they are also written so well.
Best YA Books of 2017 by Kirkus, SLJ, TAYSHAS, NYPL, Chicago Public Library, Kentucky Association Of School Librarians, South Carolina Associate of School Librarians.
Nine-year-old Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly.
She didn’t say much during the trial but the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A three-month-old white baby had died under the care of a church-going black mother and her daughter.
After spending six years in prison for the unthinkable crime, sixteen-year-old Mary discovers she is pregnant. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past while surviving life in a Brooklyn group home. But her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her mother.
This was my review from 2017:
And honestly my thoughts still have not changed. It has been three years, and I still find myself thinking about this book. I had never read something so dark and good in YA. It is such an intense book, but it is written so well. I really suggest this book, but I would just say be careful if you are bothered by the topic of child death being mentioned. It is not graphic, but it is there.
I never wrote a full review on Monday’s Not Coming, but I am going to approach this a different way.
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
Michelle Blair put her 17 year old daughter and 9 year son in a freezer after she beat them to death. She says she did it because they had sexually abused her younger son, and she even said she would kill them again when she was asked about the crimes. An article about this story can be found here. They went missing in 2012 and were not found until 2015. That is three years.
And that is what this book is based on. A black woman who killed her children, and she ended up with life in prison. I am not saying she did not get the proper punishment, but also look at how white women are looked at when they kill their kids. Andrea Yates was treated for her mental disorder and placed in a hospital for life. But Michelle Blair is just placed in prison and labeled a horrible mother. I am not saying she is good mom, but it doesn’t seem like anyone took the time to like check if she was mentally ill.
It makes me sad to see how the society treats black people vs white. I know that is an entire other topic, but this book talks about those issues.
Monday and her brother just go missing for three years and people just act like it is no big deal. Despite the fact she was always at school, and it seemed like her mother had mental issues. No one except her best friend cared enough to check, and by then it was too late. Why don’t people listen to black voices more? It is so frustrating, and I hope it changes someday soon. We need to listen and support black voices, not talk over them anymore.
Honestly, the way Tiffany D. Jackson writes is beyond words. She is one of the best authors I have ever read, and I cant suggest you check out her works enough. She talks about important issues for black people like being poor, how society never listens, and the violence/poverty pervasive in many lives of the black peoples.
Please take the time to read her books. Use the library, buy them from a black black store if you can. Just support black creators the way we should have always been.