The Awakening of Malcolm X
The Awakening of Malcolm X

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Annotation: A powerful fictionalized account of Malcolm X's adolescent years in jail, written by his daughter along with 2019 Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe award-winning author.
Catalog Number: #221631
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 323 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-374-31329-6 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8575-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-374-31329-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8575-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2020009789
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Malcolm X's daughter Shabazz teams up with YA veteran Jackson to create an affecting piece of historical fiction that focuses on the civil rights icon's young adulthood. It begins five weeks into the imprisonment of 20-year-old Malcolm Little. Through the mentorship of older prisoners and by witnessing the atrocities African Americans are subjected to behind bars, a fire is stoked within him. As his narrative unfolds, Malcolm hones his skills in rhetoric and debate to become a feared sparring partner, and, by embracing Islam, Malcolm X finds a calling to guide other African Americans to rally for true justice. The authors not only show Malcolm's intellectual and spiritual evolution, but also manage to depict the plight of his fellow inmates with equal parts compassion and revulsion. In so doing, they illustrate the social conditions that normalized injustice into everyday life. Though technically a work of fiction, this book nevertheless serves as a perfect entrée for young adult readers to learn about the formative years of a pivotal leader in the civil rights movement.
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Explores historical threads of race, faith, and family as they weave together in the transformation of youthful, imprisoned Malcolm Little into empowered, purpose-driven Malcolm X.Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz, partners with rising literary star Jackson to explore 20-something Malcolm’s growth through reading, debate, and dialogue. This dedication and rediscovery of purpose, made manifest through newfound faith, would catapult him to the global stage as the chief spokesman for the Nation of Islam under the tutelage of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Refusing to establish his transformation as the marker of an unjust prison system’s rehabilitation strategy, this fictionalized retelling spotlights the relationships, perspectives, lessons, and questions delivered by Black men imprisoned around him and the critical embrace of a family that never abandoned him. “Wake up, Malcolm” is a cue that resounds throughout, linking the familial legacy of Malcolm’s parents, who held ties to ministry and served roles in the racial uplift mission of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. Readers will make connections to persistent injustices faced by Black communities—and the beautiful ways which, despite that terror, Black families have found to craft visions of freedom and lives of dignity and love. This novel showcases the ways that becoming is a social process requiring care, commitment, and community but is ultimately world-changing work.A must-read reminder that transformation is made possible through community. (more information, timeline, Malcolm X’s reading list, authors’ note) (Biographical novel. 12-18)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/20)
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 7-12

The Awakening of Malcolm X is a powerful narrative account of the activist's adolescent years in jail, written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz along with 2019 Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe award-winning author, Tiffany D. Jackson. No one can be at peace until he has his freedom. In Charlestown Prison, Malcolm Little struggles with the weight of his past. Plagued by nightmares, Malcolm drifts through days, unsure of his future. Slowly, he befriends other prisoners and writes to his family. He reads all the books in the prison library, joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm grapples with race, politics, religion, and justice in the 1940s. And as his time in jail comes to an end, he begins to awaken -- emerging from prison more than just Malcolm Little:Now, he is Malcolm X. Here is an intimate look at Malcolm X's young adult years. While this book chronologically follows X: A Novel, it can be read as a stand-alone historical novel that invites larger discussions on black power, prison reform, and civil rights.

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