Angel Of Greenwood by Randi Pink | Book Review

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Angel Of Greenwood by Randi Pink | Book ReviewAngel of Greenwood by Randi Pink
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 12, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Historical / United States / 20th Century, Young Adult Fiction / People & Places / United States / African American & Black, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Prejudice & Racism
Pages: 304
Format: eARC, Hardcover
Source: Library, Publisher
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four-stars

A piercing, unforgettable love story set in Greenwood, Oklahoma, also known as the “Black Wall Street,” and against the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.

Isaiah Wilson is, on the surface, a town troublemaker, but is hiding that he is an avid reader and secret poet, never leaving home without his journal. Angel Hill is a loner, mostly disregarded by her peers as a goody-goody. Her father is dying, and her family’s financial situation is in turmoil.

Though they’ve attended the same schools, Isaiah never noticed Angel as anything but a dorky, Bible toting church girl. Then their English teacher offers them a job on her mobile library, a three-wheel, two-seater bike. Angel can’t turn down the money and Isaiah is soon eager to be in such close quarters with Angel every afternoon.

But life changes on May 31, 1921 when a vicious white mob storms the Black community of Greenwood, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced. Only then, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers realize who their real enemies are.

Randi Pink’s debut Angel Of Greenwood is stellar and not like anything I have read this year. After reading this book, I find that I wish there was more noise around it. It feels like not a ton of people have read this and that is a travesty. However, given that historical fiction is not the IT genre at the moment, I guess that makes sense. If you are someone who loves historical fiction, pick this book up. If you like a good redemption story or a good love story, pick up Pink’s debut.

Angel Of Greenwood is set in the year 1921 in Greenwood Oklahoma which is a suburb of Tulsa. Greenwood was dubbed Black Wall Street. In 1921, it was a place where Black people were prospering. There was such a strong sense of community and culture. One resident of this community is Angel. She’s graceful and a dancer. Also, she is kind and thoughtful and truly lives up to her name. Life at home is not easy — as her father is slowly dying. As the book opens, there is an incident where Angel is confronted by a pack of white boys. Witnessing this incident is Isaiah. He goes to school and church with Angel.

Isaiah lives with his widowed mother. You see, his father died in the Great War. Isaiah hangs out with Muggy who is the town bully. So, he is a bit guilty by association. As it turns out though, Isaiah is secretly a poet. He also is obsessed with the philosophy and writing of W.E.B. DuBois. Isaiah ends up interacting much closer with Angel when he and Angel are hired for a job running a bookmobile into the poorer neighborhoods of Greenwood. Isaiah also comes to terms with his deep feelings for Angel.

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♬ Emotional Piano Instrumental In E Minor – Tom Bailey Backing Tracks

Angel Of Greenwood is so good for such a compact read. The story does involve the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, however, much of that happens off page. There are a few events of violence, but it is NOT the entire book. At heart, this book is about two Black teens who fall in love. It is about Isaiah who has a redemption arc – as well as his friend Muggy. This book is about an actual community that existed that white people just couldn’t stand to see thriving. The author’s note at the end gave so much insight into the why of this book. Do not miss out on Angel Of Greenwood by Randi Pink for a spectacular historical fiction about an event that history textbooks often skip over.


four-stars
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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