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Summary

An African American girl comes of age during the Civil Rights Movement in April Sinclair's hilarious, insightful novel that was named Book of the Year (Young Adult Fiction) for 1994 by the American Library Association.

Jean "Stevie" Stevenson lives in Chicago's South Side, a neighborhood that acutely feels the social changes of the 1960s. Curious and witty, bold but naïve, Stevie ponders questions such as what makes good hair and which skin shade is better in light of "black is beautiful". Amid the War on Poverty; the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; race riots; and the Black Power movement, Stevie grows into a socially aware young adult with a burgeoning sexuality and pride in her identity. Learning as much from her mother's strictness, her father's steady encouragement, and her grandmother's strength as she does from her wild friend, Carla, and her white teacher, Nurse Horne, Stevie makes the sometimes harrowing, often hilarious, always enthralling journey into adulthood.

Coffee Will Make You Black received the Carl Sandburg Award from the Friends of the Chicago Public Library.

©1994 April Sinclair; This edition published in 2015 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
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  • Katherine A. Robertus
  • 26-01-18

I loved this book so much.

How April Sinclair managed to write a coming-of-age story of a black girl in Chicago during the late '60s, and make it not just sensitive and wise, but also light and funny, I will never know. What skill! I fell in love with Stevie and can't wait to read the sequel set in her college and post-grad years. The narration was great except for a really unpleasant voice choice for an important character (Nurse Horn, whose words are poignant and careful, speaks them in the most obnoxious, squeaking, asshole time). Note to listeners: A couple of times I had to rewind or check against the ebook text where time jumped ahead, but it was always accurate to the text, just hard to tell that it was an intended leap on audiobook.

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  • Gwendolyn Best
  • 15-04-17

Interesting Story - Excellent Narration

I enjoyed the journey of growing up with Stevie. She and the other characters were portrayed well by the narrator. Just a chapter or two into the story, I had sent several text messages to friends suggesting they listen, too.

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  • Calla M
  • 07-12-16

FUNNY Loved the portral of Black community

main character grows at a logical rate. Characters are all developed just enough. Listened to entire book in one day

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  • Ladydaytrippin
  • 08-10-16

I found my new favorite book!

This story of a young lady coming of age during the civil rights era is the best I've ever read. I wish I'd read this when I started puberty. It's realistic and accurate. My weird feelings and questions would have been answered. This is a definite must read.