Oct 18, 2021
Join Ontario readers from October 18 to 31 in reading Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta. Brought to us from Ontario Library Services and hosted on Overdrive, Frying Plaintain is a rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds. Set in the neighbourhood of "Little Jamaica," it follows a girl from elementary school to high school graduation as she navigates the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation immigrants experiencing first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity in a predominantly white society.
Kara Davis is a girl caught in the middle — of her North American identity and her desire to be a "true" Jamaican, of her mother and grandmother's rages and life lessons, of having to avoid being thought of as too "faas" or too "quiet" or too "bold" or too "soft." In these twelve interconnected stories, we see Kara on a visit to Jamaica, startled by the sight of a severed pig's head in her great-aunt's freezer; in junior high, the victim of a devastating prank by her closest friends; and as a teenager in and out of her grandmother's house, trying to cope with ongoing battles of unyielding authority.
Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker.