20894025Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Bestselling and award-winning author, Sharon G. Flake, delivers a mystery set in the 1950s that eerily blends history, race, culture, and family.

Octobia May is girl filled with questions. Her heart condition makes her special – and, some folks would argue, gives this ten-year-old powers that make her a “wise soul.” Thank goodness for Auntie, who convinces Octobia’s parents to let her live in her boarding house that is filled with old folks. That’s when trouble, and excitement, and wonder begin. Auntie is non-traditional. She’s unmarried and has plans to purchase other boarding homes and hotels. At a time when children, and especially girls, are “seen, not heard,” Auntie allows Octobia May the freedom and expression of an adult. When Octobia starts to question the folks in her world, an adventure and a mystery unfold that beg some troubling questions: Who is black and who is “passing” for white? What happens when a vibrant African American community must face its own racism?

And, perhaps most important: Do vampires really exist? In her most unusual and probing novel yet, Sharon G. Flake takes us on a heart-pumping journey – Goodreads

Review:

Unstoppable Octobia May  is the story of Octobia May, who is a ten-year-old that, contrary to those around her, never stops asking questions. She is intrigued about everything, like most ten-year-olds are and Flake works on that. Throughout the story, I felt that Flake had a firm grasp on the character of Octobia. I related to her (even though we have nothing in common) and I understood why she was the way she was.

Which included living at a boarding house with her Auntie, who is not a typical Auntie. She’s unmarried, and and wants to own property during a time period that it was looked down upon and Auntie got along with Octobia extremely well and embraced Octobia for who she was. Even if Octobia was meant to be seen and not heard, her Auntie truly did not try to change her. However, all of her questioning does begin to get her in trouble. Her neighbors are not the people she thought they were and quickly her community turn on each other.

I was fascinated throughout this whole story and I hate saying this, but I could not put the book down. I adored it and wanted more of Octobia’s world. I wanted more inside her brain and the fact that racism was occurring in her own neighborhood where no one expected it. It was a quick read that left me questioning things that I didn’t expect when I began the novel. Highly recommend this clever novel.