Sugar Town Queens

Listening Library. Aug. 2021. 937p. $63. ISBN 9780593397893.
Gr 7 Up–Fifteen-year-old Amandla is half white and half Black. She lives in Sugar Town, a settlement in South Africa where poor Black people live in rusting metal shacks and don’t venture out at night. Her mother works but makes barely enough for them to get by. Much of the time, Amandla feels more like the adult because her mother has memory gaps and flights of fancy. Amandla knows almost nothing about her father or either side of her family. When her mother returns home one afternoon, shaky and more disoriented than usual, everything changes. Amandla looks in her mother’s bag and finds a large stack of money and a cryptic note with an address and instructions to enter a doorway there. What follows is part coming-of-age story, part mystery, infused with dysfunctional family dynamics. As she seeks the truth about what happened to her mother and father years before, Amandla learns who really loves her, how many friends she has in Sugar Town, the vile and pervasive nature of racism in South Africa, and her own strength. Excellent narration by Bahni Turpin, especially in the subtle variation between Amandla and her mother’s voices, enhances this audiobook.
VERDICT An excellent story for teens who appreciate strong female protagonists and a story that reflects life in another country and culture.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing