Vinyl Moon

Vinyl Moon cover
Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Browne

By Mahogany L. Browne
Crown, 2022
176 pages

Age 13 and older

Teenage Angel is staying with her uncle in Brooklyn after a violent incident with her (now) ex-boyfriend left her hurt both physically and emotionally. Angel’s voice is immediate and compelling, and her journey to self-affirmation moving and real, in this novel with a rich cast of secondary characters, most of who help lift Angel up even as they deal with struggles of their own. They include her Uncle Spence; Ms. G, a  phenomenal teacher who encourages Angel and other young women in her class to express themselves, and to respect both themselves and one another; and new friends that include Kadijah and Kadijah’s brother, Sterling, with whom Angel senses a possible more-than-friend connection. All of them show Angel, who is Black, that contentment and even joy are possible in spite of challenges. When Ms. G. introduces Angel to the works of Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou and others, Angel connects to their literary characters and thinks deeply about their stories, seeing herself and aspects of her life reflected. Angel also finds an outlet in music, and she begins to create playlists and carve out an identity as a DJ as a form of expression.  Flashbacks gradually reveal what happened with her ex-boyfriend this novel that also calls out violence and male entitlement, but focuses on self-esteem, creativity, and healing. Brooklyn itself is a vibrant character in this novel that blends poetry and prose. ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center