Will Do Magic for Small Change

Aqueduct. Jun. 2016. 472p. ISBN 9781619761018. $21; ebk. available. FANTASY
If 12-year-old Cinnamon Jones had her way, she would follow in her famous grandparents' theatrical footsteps, but she knows her 180-pound physique does not lend itself to the stage world's norms requiring performers to be delicate sylphs. Instead she determines to unravel some family secrets that might be in a book that her black-sheep brother Sekou gave her before he died. Alternate chapters present excerpts from The Chronicles of the Great Wanderer, which follows a Dahomean warrior woman and another alien throughout the centuries. Cinnamon is an appealing teen in flux, trying to achieve her dreams, while finding her true identity and the history of her heritage.
VERDICT Tiptree Award-winning author Hairston (Redwood and Wildfire; Mindscape) celebrates West African stories and traditions in this strange, ethereal coming-of-age fantasy that will attract readers of Nalo Hopkinson and Octavia Butler.
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