Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Having made an appearance in Sister Souljah's The Coldest Winter Ever, Midnight gets his own story, which takes him from his wealthy African Islamic family to the streets of Brooklyn. With a five-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Midnight is the enigmatic character from Souljah's 1999 best-seller, The Coldest Winter Ever. In this novel, she backs up to tell Midnight's story: a young Sudanese boy migrates to America with his pregnant mother, leaving behind a political activist father and a much wealthier life. For seven years, they struggle in a Brooklyn tenement among drug pushers and prostitutes, the mother creating a Sudanese idyll. By the age of 15, Midnight easily navigates the city streets, negotiating on his mother's behalf, straddling Sudanese and American culture. He helps his mother build a lucrative clothing business with wares that appeal to immigrants hungry to maintain their culture. Working at a Chinese fish market, Midnight meets and falls in love with Akemi, a young Japanese artist. The fact that she doesn't speak English and he doesn't speak Japanese doesn't impede. Remarkably disciplined in his Muslim faith and Sudanese culture, Midnight learns ancient self-defense techniques and eschews the aggressive attention of desperate females. Hip-hop artist and master storyteller Souljah offers biting social critique on contemporary urban culture tucked inside a love story.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2008 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Souljah's follow-up to her bestselling novel, The Coldest Winter Ever, is another gritty coming-of-age tale, picking up the story of Midnight (a character in Coldest Winter) as he tries desperately to navigate American culture, Brooklyn streets and the dicey business of growing up. The novel begins as seven-year-old Midnight and his pregnant mother, Umma, are forced to leave their privileged life in Sudan for a hardscrabble American existence. Midnight spends his formative years in Brooklyn guiding and translating for his loyal, loving and talented mother, helping her get a factory job while encouraging her to start a clothing line. Eventually, Midnight starts working at a Chinatown fish shop, finds love, joins a dangerous hustler's basketball league and tries to disentangle his ambivalent feelings toward romance, family and personal honor. Souljah's sensitive treatment of her protagonist is honest and affecting, with some realistic moments of crisis. Unfortunately, a slack plot and slow pacing cause serious bloat, and Souljah's distinctive prose is woefully unpolished. Frustrations aside, Souljah has obvious talent and sincere motives, making her a street-lit sophomore worth watching. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Verdict: Fans will rush to libraries and bookstores to snap up this long-awaited follow-up to The Coldest Winter Ever. However, those eager for a sizzling romance between Winter Santiaga, the heroine of Souljah's ground-breaking 1999 debut, and Midnight, the enigmatic lieutenant of Winter's drug-dealer father and one of that novel's more intriguing secondary characters, may be disappointed. More of a prequel than a sequel, this story takes place before Midnight encounters Ricky and Winter Santiaga and explores his background and how it shaped his spirit and mysterious personality. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/08.] Background: When he was seven years old, Midnight and his pregnant mother fled a dangerous situation in the Sudan involving his father. Now settled in Brooklyn, NY, Midnight has become at age 14 the man of the family, dedicated to caring for his mother, Umma, and his little sister, Naja. He constantly searches for a way to leave the hood, but for now he moves between two worlds. In one, he's a young Islamic man in control of his family's finances and in the other, a teenager shooting hoops with his friends in a hustler's league. The author is determined to illustrate how a real man carries himself, as Midnight falls in love with Akemi, a Japanese girl he will not sleep with until marriage. Sister Souljah's activist message comes through loud and clear when the young man brings forth his inner gangster if his women are disrespected.--Rollie Welch, Cleveland P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Verdict: Just as Sister Souljah set the bar for quality urban fiction almost a decade ago with her groundbreaking classic, The Coldest Winter Ever, her new installment to the Winter Santiaga story raises the bar for the genre again. Tenderly yet honestly written and illustrated with striking photographs depicting the main characters, this multimodal book deserves to be studied for its cultural importance in high school English classes throughout America and promises to be edifying readers for years to come. Essential; buy multiple copies to be shelved as YA and/or adult fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/08.] Background: In this prequel to TCWE, readers get the full backstory of Midnight, the elusive yet intensely loyal right-hand man to Ricky Santiaga, Winter's drug kingpin father. With connections to upper-class Africa and inner-city America, Midnight knows what it means to be an outsider. Growing up in Sudan, Midnight is raised as a skilled warrior by his father, a high-ranking political figure. When war breaks out, Midnight's family flees to America, but his father stays behind. Now the man of the family at the tender age of 13 and living a private, Sudanese lifestyle in the projects of Brooklyn, Midnight works to get out of the hood, educates himself, trains in martial arts, and fearlessly guards his pregnant mother and young sister. He eventually falls in love with a beautiful artist, whose culture is interwoven with his own. Midnight's adolescent years are an authentic testament to the rigors of reconciling an immigrant identity with an American experience.-Vanessa J. Irvin Morris, Drexel Univ., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Having made an appearance in Sister Souljah's The Coldest Winter Ever, Midnight gets his own story, which takes him from his wealthy African Islamic family to the streets of Brooklyn. With a five-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Midnight is the enigmatic character from Souljah's 1999 best-seller, The Coldest Winter Ever. In this novel, she backs up to tell Midnight's story: a young Sudanese boy migrates to America with his pregnant mother, leaving behind a political activist father and a much wealthier life. For seven years, they struggle in a Brooklyn tenement among drug pushers and prostitutes, the mother creating a Sudanese idyll. By the age of 15, Midnight easily navigates the city streets, negotiating on his mother's behalf, straddling Sudanese and American culture. He helps his mother build a lucrative clothing business with wares that appeal to immigrants hungry to maintain their culture. Working at a Chinese fish market, Midnight meets and falls in love with Akemi, a young Japanese artist. The fact that she doesn't speak English and he doesn't speak Japanese doesn't impede. Remarkably disciplined in his Muslim faith and Sudanese culture, Midnight learns ancient self-defense techniques and eschews the aggressive attention of desperate females. Hip-hop artist and master storyteller Souljah offers biting social critique on contemporary urban culture tucked inside a love story.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2008 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Souljah's follow-up to her bestselling novel, The Coldest Winter Ever, is another gritty coming-of-age tale, picking up the story of Midnight (a character in Coldest Winter) as he tries desperately to navigate American culture, Brooklyn streets and the dicey business of growing up. The novel begins as seven-year-old Midnight and his pregnant mother, Umma, are forced to leave their privileged life in Sudan for a hardscrabble American existence. Midnight spends his formative years in Brooklyn guiding and translating for his loyal, loving and talented mother, helping her get a factory job while encouraging her to start a clothing line. Eventually, Midnight starts working at a Chinatown fish shop, finds love, joins a dangerous hustler's basketball league and tries to disentangle his ambivalent feelings toward romance, family and personal honor. Souljah's sensitive treatment of her protagonist is honest and affecting, with some realistic moments of crisis. Unfortunately, a slack plot and slow pacing cause serious bloat, and Souljah's distinctive prose is woefully unpolished. Frustrations aside, Souljah has obvious talent and sincere motives, making her a street-lit sophomore worth watching. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Verdict: Fans will rush to libraries and bookstores to snap up this long-awaited follow-up to The Coldest Winter Ever. However, those eager for a sizzling romance between Winter Santiaga, the heroine of Souljah's ground-breaking 1999 debut, and Midnight, the enigmatic lieutenant of Winter's drug-dealer father and one of that novel's more intriguing secondary characters, may be disappointed. More of a prequel than a sequel, this story takes place before Midnight encounters Ricky and Winter Santiaga and explores his background and how it shaped his spirit and mysterious personality. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/08.] Background: When he was seven years old, Midnight and his pregnant mother fled a dangerous situation in the Sudan involving his father. Now settled in Brooklyn, NY, Midnight has become at age 14 the man of the family, dedicated to caring for his mother, Umma, and his little sister, Naja. He constantly searches for a way to leave the hood, but for now he moves between two worlds. In one, he's a young Islamic man in control of his family's finances and in the other, a teenager shooting hoops with his friends in a hustler's league. The author is determined to illustrate how a real man carries himself, as Midnight falls in love with Akemi, a Japanese girl he will not sleep with until marriage. Sister Souljah's activist message comes through loud and clear when the young man brings forth his inner gangster if his women are disrespected.--Rollie Welch, Cleveland P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Verdict: Just as Sister Souljah set the bar for quality urban fiction almost a decade ago with her groundbreaking classic, The Coldest Winter Ever, her new installment to the Winter Santiaga story raises the bar for the genre again. Tenderly yet honestly written and illustrated with striking photographs depicting the main characters, this multimodal book deserves to be studied for its cultural importance in high school English classes throughout America and promises to be edifying readers for years to come. Essential; buy multiple copies to be shelved as YA and/or adult fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/08.] Background: In this prequel to TCWE, readers get the full backstory of Midnight, the elusive yet intensely loyal right-hand man to Ricky Santiaga, Winter's drug kingpin father. With connections to upper-class Africa and inner-city America, Midnight knows what it means to be an outsider. Growing up in Sudan, Midnight is raised as a skilled warrior by his father, a high-ranking political figure. When war breaks out, Midnight's family flees to America, but his father stays behind. Now the man of the family at the tender age of 13 and living a private, Sudanese lifestyle in the projects of Brooklyn, Midnight works to get out of the hood, educates himself, trains in martial arts, and fearlessly guards his pregnant mother and young sister. He eventually falls in love with a beautiful artist, whose culture is interwoven with his own. Midnight's adolescent years are an authentic testament to the rigors of reconciling an immigrant identity with an American experience.-Vanessa J. Irvin Morris, Drexel Univ., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.