Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
by Moulite, Maika; Moulite, Maritza

Told in epistolary style through letters, articles, emails and diary entries, a debut novel by sister authors follows the experiences of a Haitian American teen who is sent to work in a Haitian nonprofit, where she learns about local culture and her family heritage. 100,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

*Starred Review* Sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite deliver a phenomenal coming-of-age story with this stunning novel. The reader is treated to a contemporary story lightly threaded with superstition that refreshingly veers away from the traditional white, Western gaze and places a Haitian American, her immigrant family, and the land of her heritage at the fore. Alaine Beauparlant is a high-school journalist who gets suspended from her private school after a prank goes wrong. She travels to Haiti, a world away from her ritzy private school, to spend her suspension at her family's estate, where her aunt and distant mother await her. Alaine's punishment is to work for her aunt's charity that provides help to Haitian children in need. During her time in Haiti, Alaine's life is transformed as she unearths family histories and secrets that allow her to get to know the ailing mother, who has been absent from a large part of her life. The authors deliver a smart and witty protagonist in Alaine, who endearingly uses humor to make the unsettling situations in which she finds herself a bit more bearable. Additionally, the setting takes on a life of its own, plunging readers into Haiti's rich cultural traditions, breathtaking landscape, and vibrant people alongside Alaine, who will quickly become a beloved character among teens. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

A riveting tale of testing one's mettle while finding one's roots. Alaine Beauparlant is a 17-year-old Haitian American senior living in Miami with her psychiatrist father. Alaine plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned journalist mother by majoring in journalism at Columbia. With mere months to go before graduation, though, Alaine's world starts unraveling and is later turned on its side when she royally messes up a school presentation. Her punishment is to spend two months volunteering in Haiti-though she wasn't given much of a choice. Alaine wants to go to Haiti-the country both of her parents are from-but she would prefer it to be under much different circumstances. With the help of her Tati Estelle and, later, her usually distant mother, Alaine comes to find that there is much more to her family's history than she imagined. In the process, she discovers an even deeper love for the ancestral homeland that she had only known from afar. The Moulite sisters' joint debut has heart and humor. The varied formats, suc h as emails, texts, and letters, add interest and serve to make the story feel modern. However, the excessive pop-culture references are unnecessary additions to an otherwise captivating novel. This exploration of a culture steeped in magical realism beautifully showcases the sacrifices we are sometimes called to make for the ties that bind us. Enchanting. (Fiction. 15-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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