Children of blood and bone by Tomi Adeyemi was simply beautiful. At first I honestly was so pissed off because I found it too similar to Avatar (the last Airbender). So much so that I was imagining the characters in the book to be the characters in the cartoon. As I read along though, I started imagining characters to be Caucasian, and I began getting pissed at myself for reading a book that was based in Africa, with African characters but yet!! I still imagined white people. I blamed the media for not being representative enough of black people that I couldn’t imagine people like myself being characters in a book. (Please note that before this book, I don’t think I had read a book in 5 years)
Eventually the racial conflict in the book became blatant and I stopped being so mad at myself for picturing white people and started feeling stupid for not initially realising what the book really was about. After I finished the story I read the authors notes. All the emotions I felt for people like Tamir Rice that I sobbed for as I thought of the innocent children burnt to death in the book, the same people Tomi had in mind when she wrote it. It speaks on the reality of our society today in a way that made me so entertained I finished the book in 4 days. Please keep in mind that I am a slow reader and I procrastinate A LOT. So that should speak wonders the fact I was so hooked.
The amount of romance, tragedy, triumph, betrayal, sacrifice and heroism in one book… it will cause a storm of emotions to flood through you. I truly think that everyone of every race, age or gender should read this book because in an age with so much racial tension this book will open the doors for conversations we have avoided and will offer a level of understanding that anyone lacking the ability to empathise with the struggles of minorities in todays society might really benefit from. This book makes you feel the hurt of the maji. And if you could cry for their loss, you should definitely be able to understand the pain minorities feel.
As I wrote this I decided to pick up the book and read the authors notes again. “If you cried for Zulaikha and Salim, cry for innocent children like Jordan Edwards, Tamir Rice, and Aiyanna Stanley-Jones. They were fifteen, twelve and seven when they were shot and killed by police.”