Leaving Atlanta

Tayari Jones


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Little, Brown & Company
1 August 2003
ISBN: 9780446690898
272 pages

From the publisher

In the summer of 1979 black children were disappearing from the streets of Atlanta. By the time this heinous killing spree was over, 29 children were dead. This haunting menace provides a powerful backdrop to the stories of three young children fighting the painful everyday battle of adolescence. Tasha, Rodney and Octavia each has a unique voice and story and each is struggling to find a path through the turmoil. Tasha, who is coping with the separation of her parents, is discovering the first sweet pain of a crush on a tough but tender boy named Jashante from the rough side of town. Rodney is a precocious little boy who struggles to make friends and wants only to please his abusive father. Octavia faces down the popular crowd at school and must straddle the line between protected and protecting daughter. This beautiful debut novel is about young adolescence and the shimmering boundary between a carefree childhood and the loss of innocence that attends the passage that all children must make into adulthood.