Cover image for X : a novel
Title:
X : a novel
Author:
Shabazz, Ilyasah, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
348 pages, 26 unnumbered pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Co-written by Malcolm X's daughter, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world.

Malcolm Little's parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that's a pack of lies--after all, his father's been murdered, his mother's been taken away, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer have gotten him laughed out of school. There's no point in trying, he figures, and lured by the nightlife of Boston and New York, he escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer. But Malcolm's efforts to leave the past behind lead him into increasingly dangerous territory. Deep down, he knows that the freedom he's found is only an illusion--and that he can't run forever. X follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
Young Adult.

HL 580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.0 11.0 170999.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780763669676

9780763690922
Format :
Book

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

Cowritten by Malcolm X's daughter, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world.

Malcolm Little's parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that's a pack of lies--after all, his father's been murdered, his mother's been taken away, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer have gotten him laughed out of school. There's no point in trying, he figures, and lured by the nightlife of Boston and New York, he escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer. But Malcolm's efforts to leave the past behind lead him into increasingly dangerous territory. Deep down, he knows that the freedom he's found is only an illusion--and that he can't run forever.

X follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.


Author Notes

Kekla Magoon is a writer, editor, speaker, and educator. She is the author of Camo Girl, 37 Things I Love (in No Particular Order), How It Went Down, and numerous non-fiction titles for the education market. Her book, The Rock and the River, won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award. She also leads writing workshops for youth and adults and is the co-editor of YA and Children's Literature for Hunger Mountain, the arts journal of Vermont College.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Malcolm X's third daughter collaborates with award winner Magoon (The Rock and the River, 2009) to offer a fictionalized biography of Shabazz's late father, the powerful human rights leader. The authors depict an impoverished childhood of turmoil and trouble marked by the death perhaps the murder of Malcolm's proud father and the forced institutionalization of his mother, followed by the dissolution of the family as Malcolm and five of his seven siblings are placed in foster homes. Shifting backward and forward through time, the story follows Malcolm from his home in Lansing, Michigan, to Boston, where he becomes a self-described creature of the street. Then it's on to drug abuse, getting caught in the numbers racket, and, ultimately, at age 23, landing in prison, where he discovers the Nation of Islam and comes to terms with his father's oft-quoted lines from Marcus Garvey, Up, up, you mighty race; you can accomplish what you will. Shabazz and Magoon bring energy, immediacy, and emotional power to Malcolm's first-person, present-tense voice. Often painfully candid, the authors effectively depict Malcolm's lifetime of racial slurs and casual injustices, symbolized by the image of a lynched man hanging from a tree. It's a satisfyingly complete, never simplistic story of one young man's journey through trouble to the promise of a life of purpose and meaning.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

This fictionalized account of the boy who became Malcolm X maintains a suspenseful, poetic grip as it shifts among moments in his life between the years 1930 and 1948. The first-person, present-tense narrative emphasizes the experiences that affected Malcolm from early childhood to his eventual imprisonment. Memories, such as a favorite teacher telling him, "Be as good as you want in the classroom, but out those doors, you're just a nigger," or his sighting of a lynched man, trigger a sense of hopelessness that leads to self-destructive choices. Significant people in Malcolm's life offer different messages: his white lover, Sophia, fears being seen with him, while his siblings believe he has the potential for greatness. Shabazz (Growing Up X), one of Malcolm X's daughters, and Magoon (How It Went Down) capture Malcolm's passion for new experiences, the defeatism that plagued him, and the long-buried hope that eventually reclaimed him. Author notes expand on historical context and the facts behind this compelling coming-of-age story. Ages 14-up. Agent: (for Shabazz) Jason Anthony, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin; (for Magoon) Michelle Humphrey, Martha Kaplan Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-Shabazz, the third daughter of Malcolm X, has novelized her famous father's coming-of-age years. Born Malcolm Little in 1925, Malcolm grew up in Detroit, MI, where his father was shot when he was six and his mother was institutionalized when he was 13. Malcolm spent his remaining school years in Michigan foster homes, becoming class president and earning straight As. Eventually Malcolm moved to Boston to live with his half-sister, Ella, where he chose the fast-paced Roxbury night life over his sister and her Society Hill friends. He fell into drinking, drugging, hustling, and landed in prison. Actor Dion Graham reads with a huge amount of emotion and creates a believable Malcolm. VERDICT Strong language and sexual references make this book more appropriate for high school than junior high. Students may want to read The Autobiography of Malcolm X or Shabazz's Growing Up X (Random, 2002) for the rest of the story.-Mary Lee Bulat, Harwinton Public Library, CT © Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.