TAFicity Parents'BookClub - Selection of the Quarter
I’m so excited to have been asked to lead a book group for TAFicity. As a writer and mom to two kids born in Korea this is a great fit for me.
Our first book will be The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. The book was the 2013 National Book Award winner in fiction. If you have read any of McBride’s other work (The Color of Water or Song Yet Sung) you know how lively his characters are. If this is your first encounter with McBride as it was for me, you are in for a treat. I am normally the type of reader who underlines and highlights like crazy, but I raced to the end of this book so engrossed I forgot a pen dangled from my fingertips.
McBride weaves the historical account of the raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859, one of the catalysts for the Civil War, into the fictional narrative of Henry Shackleford. Henry is a 10-year-old slave when we meet him, who is forced to escape after a fight between Henry’s master and John Brown turns violent. John Brown mistakes Henry for a girl, gives him the name Little Onion, and believes Onion to be a good luck charm through multiple battles. The book hits on themes of race as well as gender and identity as Little Onion wrestles with who he is and how and when to reveal his true self.
I am looking forward to our discussion next month! There are still some spots available. Please join us! We will meet on Feb. 1 from 4 to 6 pm at my home (see details on our Meetup pages). Please bring a snack or drink to share. If you aren’t able to finish the book, please come regardless. We’d love to have you share in the discussion.
“We all got to die. … But dying as your true self is always better. God’ll take you however you come to him. But it’s easier on a soul to come to him clean. You’re forever free that way. From top to bottom.” – James McBride, The Good Lord Bird.