The Big One Oh Book Report

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When the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku, Japan, Chris Goldfinger was two hundred miles away, in the city of Kashiwa, at an international meeting on seismology.

Again, black readers may instantly relate to these daily micro-aggressions in ways that white readers may not.

Sheppard also highlights Helen’s Jamaican heritage, which adds layers to Helen’s loneliness.

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Oh My Gods by Alexandra Sheppard | Teen, Fantasy | 385 pages | Scholastic | Review by Tia Albert As a big fan of novels based on Greek mythology, I was very excited to read Alexandra Sheppard’s debut, The coming-of-age novel tells the story of fourteen-year-old Helen Thomas.Her Dad, sister and the rest of her immortal half-siblings all have the ability to change their appearance at will, including their race. Helen is very conscious of the racial and cultural differences between her and her family.In one chapter, she remembers when she tried to hug her half-brother Apollo who fist-bumped her instead.The building itself was base-isolated, a seismic-safety technology in which the body of a structure rests on movable bearings rather than directly on its foundation. The base was lurching, too, back and forth a foot at a time, digging a trench in the yard. His watch swept past the three-minute mark and kept going.Oh, shit, Goldfinger thought, although not in dread, at first: in a refreshingly fun read that centres a unique voice in a clever and imaginative way.In the current publishing climate, we definitely need more novels like this.As I am of West Indian heritage as well, these two foods are always eaten in my family home and it was a nice touch by Sheppard, who is also half-Jamaican, to add these cultural elements in.By addressing these issues, Sheppard allows the reader to gain a rare insight on what life may be like for a young Black British girl growing up.When Helen visits Grandma Thomas in Derby for Christmas, it is clear that she misses Jamaican food.I could not help but smile when Helen became really excited about being able to eat hard dough bread and cornmeal porridge again.

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