Thursday, July 7, 2011

Introducing 'Alligator Bayou' by Donna Jo Napoli

Alligator bayou by Donna Jo Napoli

Sometimes the truth can be stranger than fiction. A newspaper article inspired this novel – the article told the story of the 1899 lynching (illegal hanging) of five Sicilian immigrants in Louisiana. This fictional account is told from the point of view of Calogero, who is 14 and falls for an African American girl. As a group, the Italians are separate from both the blacks and whites – by law they are ‘not white’ but they are also discouraged from “fraternizing with them cotton pickers”. Napoli deftly weaves historical fact into this moving historical novel.

Other books you might like to explore are:

  • Shadowed summer by Saundra Mitchell. A ghost story/mystery set in Louisana
  • The last taboo by Bali Rai. A modern mixed-raced romance
  • Guardian by Julius Lester. A powerful novel of the effects lynching had on individuals
  • The arrival by Shaun Tan. A wordless graphic novel that explores the immigrant experience
  • Walk in my shoes by Alwyn Evans. An Afghani refugee family seeks asylum in Australia
  • - Annie

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