Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ship of Souls

Ship of Souls, by Zetta Elliott.

Right after Christmas a blizzard hit the city. This lady on our block went into labor, but the streets weren't plowed, so she couldn't get to the hospital. She tried walking through all that snow but only made it as far as our building. She has the baby right there in the lobby with the help of some of our neighbors. They called an ambulance, but it never came and the baby died. All because of a blizzard. I never told my mom. She was upstairs "dying with dignity." At least that's what Marva and the hospice lady said. To me, it looked like Mom was just too tired and weak to wake up.

Ship of Souls is about D, a bright young man whose mother has recently died. He is put in foster care but soon adopted by Mrs. Martin, an "elderly white woman" who takes good care of him. She soon adopts Mercy, though, a baby who was born addicted to crack, and soon D often becomes second priority. D starts to tutor Hakeem, one of the school "jocks," and he also meets Nyla, one of the prettiest girls in school. D soon finds a bird in Prospect Park that isn't exactly what he looks like - for one, this bird can talk - and he and his friends must help the bird on its quest without becoming harmed.

This novel - more of a novella, since it's only 120 pages long - features interesting characters, including Nuru, the talking bird; however, I'm not a huge fan of "sci-fi," so it probably wouldn't be a book I would normally pick up. The cover, too, is a bit menacing: it has a picture of hands holding a bird with blood-red eyes, and almost reminded me of something voodoo-esque. For YA readers who like sci-fi, though, this book will definitely appeal, and the writing in the novel was overall very good.

2.5 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book to review. The opinions listed, however, are my own.

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