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AUTHOR BACKGROUND: Treasure E. Blue is, in my huge opinion, one of the best writers in Street Lit today - hands down. His writing is top-of-the-line literary, with very good character development and wonderfully paced storytelling. I appreciate the fact that Treasure Blue does not rush his storytelling. He brings you into his world of story and you are enchanted to sit, relax, and care about the lives of the characters he creates. Treasure E. Blue has four novels to his credit thus far, with his debut novel, Harlem Girl Lost (2006), now considered one of the top Street Lit novels of all time. The long awaited follow-up to Harlem Girl Lost, was released this past May 2011, Harlem Girl Lost 2; where on Amazon.com, it is holding at a steady 5-star rating boasting dozens of customer reviews. His 2008 release, Keyshia and Clyde, is the ultimate ride-or-die love story.
BOOK REVIEW: Desire was born, literally, on the streets of Harlem. An elderly woman, Miss Hattie Mae, comes to Desire (and her mother's) rescue, caring for baby Desire while her mother battles drug addiction. Eventually and unfortunately, Desire is turned over to foster care, and well, things quickly go downhill for her from there, with Desire being bounced from home to home, becoming resilient within the wrath of negligent, abusive caregivers.
To escape the unstable home lifestyle she endures, Desire grows up quickly in the dark realms of the streets. Fate weaves it so that by her mid-teens, Miss Hattie Mae saves Desire's life again, and for this, Desire gladly settles into a stable family life with Miss Hattie Mae and begins to attend church, where she learns that she can saaannggg (sing). A Hip Hop mogul discovers Desire's talent and lures her into the music world where life can be an even lonelier, colder, harsher reality than the streets. Overwhelmed by many abuses and betrayals in the business, Desire suffers a devastating rock bottom that is a seemingly endless abyss of despair. An unexpected guardian angel comes into Desire's life and gosh, things just kind of come full circle ... but not without some pragmatic "that's real" redemption and an 'ole fashioned beat down (or two).
This excellently crafted story is a no-holds-barred tapestry of the realities of street life, showing the harshness of the streets, but also the harshness of everyday life even when you seemingly have everything the world has to offer. Author Treasure E. Blue also shows us that there is redemption in the streets via silent watchers in the form of neighbors and just plain 'ole good people who care about humanity and want to help others. With friends and family who refuse to give up on Desire and insist on loving her as she is, wounds and all, eventually Desire learns what we all must learn - that we are all right - just the way we are and we are ALL worthy to be loved.
If you don't have this novel and/or any other title by Author Treasure E. Blue (see titles below), your street lit collection has a huge void. A Street Girl Name Desire is "a must have," suitable for public and high school YA collections, ages 16 and up. I can see this novel working nicely in an English literature high school unit - for the courageous educator who would feel confident to stand for this work.
Lastly, if you want to learn how Treasure E. Blue credits the public library as having a huge impact on his life, check out his interview on AALBC.com.
TREASURE E. BLUE COLLECTION: