Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: AntHill Publishing
Release Date: January 1, 2003
ISBN: 0-9718544-0-8
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre: Literature and Fiction - Children's - Fantasy - African-American
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Kristin Johnson
Reviewer Notes: ReviewerKristin Johnson will release her second book, CHRISTMAS COOKIES ARE FOR GIVING, co-written with Mimi Cummins, in September 2003. Her third book, ORDINARY MIRACLES: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey, co-written with Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D., will be published by PublishAmerica in 2004.

Bobo World
By A.A. Roberts 

     It's a dilemma that tries a fifth grader's soul: Do you follow your heart to find love with those mysterious creatures called girls, or do you try to reach the paradise named Bobo World, everything you ever wanted, before your heart gets broken and a storm destroys everything?

     Bobo Sinclair has his share of worries. While avoiding a gang known as the Payheads (led by a boy named Duddy, who in name and temperament eerily resembles Harry Potter's cousin Dudley Dursley), gaining other enemies named Big Nino, Johnny Waterman, and Eric Price in the process, and annoying his teacher Ms. Applebee, he tries to be nice to his father's girlfriend Sheila, who emerges as a strong, sympathetic character Bobo comes to respect and relate to. He is haunted by dreams of his artist mother, who died when he was a baby. More importantly, he's trying to reach Bobo World and save it from demons, but he's not sure if his growing yearnings for girls are preventing or helping him.

     Like Harry Potter, Bobo has a parental death in his past and glimpses of a magical destiny. And like Harry, he's intelligent (he muses about "succulent meatballs"), funny, curious, and resourceful (if not necessarily academically inclined - something that for kids' sake more authors need to address), although Bobo's father, who takes him to task about his homework, is a model for being involved in your kids' schooling. But hey, Bobo is only in fifth grade and who can study when you've got beautiful, wise and cool Camille Playfair to moon over when you're not getting mixed up with edgy LaTanya Washington and mystic, vampire-loving Diedre (reminiscent of Luna Lovegood in THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX)?

     Bobo World is not the story of an African-American Harry Potter, but a contemporary, sharp, well-written, funny, warm portrait of a boy's confusion and rich inner realm that is the true Bobo World. Bobo's magical Oz is filled with love, the complexity of family feelings, and his amazing discovery that contrary to "When Harry Met Sally," guys-even "Bobolicious" ones-and girls really can be friends.

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