Title: The Harlem Charade
Author: Natasha Tarpley
Recommended for: 3rd- 8th Grade
Pages: 297 pages
Call Number/Link: J FICTION TARPLEY, N.
Synopsis: Seventh-graders Jin, Alexandra, and Elvin come from very different backgrounds and circumstances, but they all live in Harlem, and when Elvin’s grandfather is attacked they band together to find out who is responsible–and the search leads them to an enigmatic artist whose missing masterpieces are worth a fortune, and into conflict with an ambitious politician who wants to turn Harlem into an historic amusement park.
This book is rich in culture. We have three main characters that come from different backgrounds, that come together by chance. Jin likes to watch people that come into her grandparents bodega. She catches Alexandra taping Met passes on food items. Jin now has a mystery to solve to find out why. The three main characters are strong, kind-hearted teenagers. Throughout the story they learn some history of Harlem artist from the 1960’s and come to appreciate the community. It is a wonderful way to get children to look around their own communities.