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This title in other editions

Leaving Atlanta

by

Leaving Atlanta Cover

ISBN13: 9780446690898
ISBN10: 0446690899
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Beautifully evocative, written by a distinctive new voice in fiction who has been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, this novel portrays one of the darkest tragedies in American history through the eyes of three unforgettable children.

It was the end of summer, a summer during the two-year nightmare in which Atlanta's African-American children were vanishing and twenty-nine would be found murdered by 1982. Here fifth-grade classmates Tasha Baxter, Rodney Green, and Octavia Harrison will discover back-to-school means facing everyday challenges in a new world of safety lessons, terrified parents, and constant fear. The moving story of their struggle to grow up — and survive — Leaving Atlnata shimmers with the piercing, ineffable quality of childhood, as it captures all the hurts and little wins, the all-too-sudden changes, and the merciless, outside forces that can sweep the young into adulthood and forever shape their lives.

Review:

"This strongly grounded tale hums with the rhythms of schoolyard life and proves Jones to be a powerful storyteller." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Tayari Jones explores a tragic time in Atlanta's history...but, remarkably, she manages to do so with a refreshing sense of humor and redemption." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Review:

"In style, tone, and approach, Jones's novel is reminiscent of another excellent realistic novel of African American social life, Thuliani Davis's 1959." Library Journal

Review:

"Jones is as skillful at evoking the fear and anxiety of that horrendous summer as she is at recalling coming-of-age concerns about social cliques, self-identity, and family problems." Booklist

Synopsis:

An award-winning author makes her fiction debut with this coming-of-age story of three young black children set against the backdrop of the Atlanta child murders of 1979.

About the Author

Tayari Jones is an English professor at the University of Illinois. Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, won the 2003 Hurston/Wright Award for debut fiction.

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msfresh16, May 28, 2008 (view all comments by msfresh16)
Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones takes place in the early eighties when many African American children had come up missing or dead in Atlanta, Georgia. This novel is broken down into three different sections. Each section is told by three different children, LaTasha, Rodney, and Octavia, who are all living in the area where this atrocity is happening.
In part one titled “Magic Words”, LaTasha Baxter has to deal with many frustrating things in here life. First, she gets upset when the “popular” girl Monica doesn’t really want to be here friend. Then she later finds out that her dad is moving out because he is separating from here mother. Because of this she goes on a mini strike by not eating. Shortly after, a few kids come up missing. Her mother demands that she come right home after school and hold her little sister DeShaun’s had the whole way. DeShaun of course gets very frightened by this and clings to either her sister or her mother. Tasha soon develops a little relationship with this boy Jashante in her class. This gives Monica another reason to pick on her because he is from the projects. One day Tasha saw his face on the TV. He was missing too. Shortly after that her father returns home to make sure the family remains safe.
In part two called “The Direction Opposite of Home”, Rodney Green seems to be a victim of abuse by his father. He isn’t fed very well, he is forced to do whatever his father asks of him, and his father even goes as far as coming to school and beating him in class. Where he spends a lot of his time though, is in the candy store. The lady who works there knows him very well since he is a regular customer, even though he rarely purchases things. Instead he steals most of the candy. When his family hears of Jashante and others missing, they too make him hold close to his little sister on their way home from school. In the very end of this part Rodney ends up getting snatched by a man who was pretending to be a police officer.
In part three entitled “Sweet Pea”, Octavia Harrison tells her side of things during this time. In school she gets picked on the most because she looks a little different and she is poor. Her skin is very dark, her hair is nappy, and some say she even stinks a little bit. One of her best friend though is Mrs. Grier a second grade teacher. She helps her get clean in the morning, does her hair, and even gives her food sometimes. What Octavia hates the most is that her mother is such a bad liar. She thinks that it helps her in life to make everything seem like its ok. Her Uncle Kenny used to live with them, but he got in trouble for watching her take baths and using needles, so her mother kicked him out. After all of the killings occur, Octavia’s mother ships her to go live her father in Macon, Georgia.
I think the killings in the book are supposed to represent a sort of theme of moving on in our lives. It uses a sort of scare tactict to teach people to be more aware of things in life. This is because when bad things happen, sometimes it's best to just pack up and leave. From this I took away many good points. To me it sort of freaked me out since I am going to be moving to Georgia, near Atlanta actually. It kind of teaches me to be more careful and really opened my eyes to the fact that I will be on my own soon. I think this is a really good book and I definatly recommend it to any one who wants to see what it’s like to be living in this time and who isn’t scared of the truth. Sometimes, moving is the answer.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780446690898
Author:
Jones, Tayari
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Subject:
General
Subject:
Serial murders
Subject:
Atlanta (ga.)
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Bildungsromans
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
African Americans; Family relationships; Children; Missing children; Serial killings; Child murders; Adolescence; Loss of innocence
Publication Date:
20030801
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.56x5.55x.59 in. .74 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » African American » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Urban Life
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Basketball » General

Leaving Atlanta New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.00 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Warner Books - English 9780446690898 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This strongly grounded tale hums with the rhythms of schoolyard life and proves Jones to be a powerful storyteller." Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "Tayari Jones explores a tragic time in Atlanta's history...but, remarkably, she manages to do so with a refreshing sense of humor and redemption."
"Review" by , "In style, tone, and approach, Jones's novel is reminiscent of another excellent realistic novel of African American social life, Thuliani Davis's 1959."
"Review" by , "Jones is as skillful at evoking the fear and anxiety of that horrendous summer as she is at recalling coming-of-age concerns about social cliques, self-identity, and family problems."
"Synopsis" by , An award-winning author makes her fiction debut with this coming-of-age story of three young black children set against the backdrop of the Atlanta child murders of 1979.
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