What if young teens could read an exciting novel describing the places they live and the problems they face? What if they learned history through their own eyes? Maybe, their neighborhoods are decrepit and their streets violent, but now they know it was once different. If a place changed in the past, can it change in the future, too?
Ernesto from East Oakland and Jada from West Oakland have problems-big problems Ernesto's parents have been deported, and Jada's dad is in prison. Now they are heading on a journey through time: back into Oakland's past and forward into Oakland's future. As they try to return to the present, their time, the things they see will change their lives forever.
Packed with local sights and sounds and told in the language of The Town that they call home, Oakland Tales is the unforgettable coming-of-age story of two young people who discover that they are part of history and they can shape the future.
* attract young people to reading through stories representative of themselves;
* connect youth to place by revealing history through their eyes;
* reinforce bridges among cultures and present a model of inclusivity;
* inspire youth to find themselves in the continuum of history;
* offer a forum in the classroom and home to discuss social justice themes;
* offer a tool of empowerment that articulates hope and helps shape agency;
* address the crisis of literacy and by default, the school dropout rate; and
* offer an interdisciplinary text appropriate for both Language Arts/Social Studies.
Themes: connection to place, parent incarceration, street violence, parent deportation, history from below, and restorative justice,