Unstoppable Octobia May: 02/23/16
Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake is a wonderful historical fiction that starts off as a paranormal mystery and goes off in a completely different but satisfying direction. Octobia May lives with her aunt in her boarding house. She has a heart condition that forces her to stay close to home.
Being close to home gives her time to observe her aunt's tenants. Among them, there's an old man she's convinced is a vampire. She knows she must be ever alert to avoid falling prey to him. Vampires, though, are bound by certain rules. Evil humans, though, aren't.
Although I really wanted Octobia to be right and the old man to be a vampire, I appreciate the rug being pulled out from beneath both of us. What's at hand is something not at all magical and based entirely in the weird, unfortunate, preference for lighter skin that permeates the black community.
While Octobia May's story seems to be a stand alone, I would love to see her grow up and tackle new problems. She is presented as a believable, head strong, self reliant girl who will grow up to be a remarkable force in her community and in anything she applies herself to.