You've heard of the "Babysitter's Club." Now get with NEATE, a middle-grade series written by African-American authors. The series was created by Wade Hudson, president and CEO of Just Us Books, an award-winning black-owned publishing company that has been in business more than 15 years. The stories feature the lives of five African-American junior-high school friends -- Naimah, Elizabeth, Anthony, Tayesha and Eddie. The name NEATE comes from the initial of each of their first names.
The first three books in the series, "NEATE to the Rescue" by Debbi Chocolate, "Elizabeth's Secret" by Debbi Chocolate and "Anthony's Big Surprise" by Wade Hudson received praise for giving black children a chapter book cast they could relate to. The friends are positive young people who help each other figure out the sticky parts of life.
There's . . .
- Naimah - Take charge young lady who's president of the student council
- Elizabeth - The resident pop star-in-training
- Anthony - A bookish paper boy who's always there for his friends
- Tayesha - A biracial girl who's sensitive about her background
- Eddie - The jokester and good guy who wishes his dad would cut him some slack
Book #4, "Eddie's Ordeal," takes readers inside the relationship between Eddie and his dad. Here's a description from Just Us Books:
"Thirteen year old Eddie Delaney loves his dad. But sometimes he wishes that he’d lighten up. His father, a lawyer who grew up during the civil rights movement expects nothing but the best from his only son. And with Eddie’s success as a starter on the basketball team, and his good grades, Mr. Delaney’s been getting it. Then Eddie brings home a D in language arts and everything changes. His parents make him quit the team. And now Eddie’s lost the one thing he knows he’s good at, the very thing that had helped bring him and his dad together. Why is his dad so hard on him? Eddie’s friends decide to find out. But when they dig into Mr. Delaney’s past they uncover a secret that rocks the foundation of the already unsteady father-son relationship, and changes Eddie’s life forever."
Book #5, "A Test for Tayesha" by Tara Demps Soyinka is out now.
Pick up your copy at www.justusbooks.com and look for more titles to follow.