Date: January 1, 2003
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Literature and Fiction - Children's - Fantasy - African-American
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
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?
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.
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)?
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.