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Slice of 1980s Harlem

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, by Ibi Zoboi

· MG Books

Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet occupies her "imagination space" a lot more than she does reality, and her mother, in Alabama, decides it's time for her feet to touch down on Earth.

She's sent to spend a summer in Harlem with her father, who she's built up in her imagination to be the evil King Sirius Julius.

It's far, far away from Captain Norfleet, her grandfather, who set all this "imagination" business into motion many years before, with sharing his love and admiration of Star Trek (and Lt. Uhura) with his granddaughter.

Ebony-Grace has a hard time (this is putting it mildly) fitting in with the kinda boy-crazy, double-dutch, break dancing all-girl crews of the neighborhood.

Even Bianca, a girl she's already friends with from past visits, can't stand her refusal to grow up and exist in the vibrant life pulsing in Harlem of 1984. She makes some incredibly bad choices, and in a way, it's supremely sad, but by the end, she's made at least one connection and sort of found her way with Bianca and her father, again.

I won't spoil how it ends, just know there were plenty of tears. Enjoy the read.

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