CHILDREN'S AUTHOR • POET• TEACHER
MILES FROM MOTOWN
Twelve-year-old Georgia Johnson is sure she can win the “Spirit of Detroit Poetry Contest,” judged by her idol, Gwendolyn Brooks. After moving from her beloved Detroit neighborhood to an unfamiliar suburb on the outskirts of the city, Georgia lies to prevent becoming disqualified from the contest (which is for Detroit residents only) by using her aunt Birdie’s address. With her older brother deployed to Vietnam, and her family worried about when—or if—he’ll make it home, Georgia tries to settle into her new life. But she misses the old—her friend Ceci, the cracks in the sidewalk that used to catch her skates, the hide-and-seek tree, and the deli on the corner. She wonders if she’ll ever make new friends or feel like she belongs. To make matters worse, she must also find a way to intercept the contest finalist announcement that will be mailed to Aunt Birdie’s mailbox before her family uncovers her deception. During that summer, Georgia discovers her own resiliency in the face of upheaval and the power of truth when lies ring hollow.
“This is an inspiring book that takes you back in time to really walk in Georgia’s shoes. It is a wonderful read with true historical facts and content. The book makes us travel in time showing us to make the best of living in the real world. Georgia takes us on an adventure that includes great lessons about growing up that don’t always seem obvious to us 10 year-olds but ones that we should all learn. Georgia is passionate about poetry because she’s given a tool that not only makes her fall in love with writing and poetry but carries her far. Miles from Motown was written by the best 4th-grade teacher, Ms. Sukenic. I really enjoyed this novel in verse book which is beautifully poetic in every way and I hope she writes more.”
- Sophie Rodriguez