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You’ll lol with Alaine

This debut novel is a delightful and poignant page-turner.

Citadelle Laferrière
Dear Haiti Love Alaine Book cover

Title

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

Author(s)

Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

Genre

Young Adult

Typical of first-generation Americans is the insatiable need to learn about the country our parents left behind. We’ve lived with fanciful stories of how our people escaped [fill in the reason your family emmigrated] for better opportunities in the United States. For me, it’s Cuba. Some of us will never visit our parents’ homeland, but those lucky enough for the opportunity will never regret it. 

Enter Alaine Beauparlant, a 17-year-old Haitian American living in Miami. She’s an only child whose upwardly mobile professional parents also enchanted her with stories of her beloved Haiti. However, an error in judgment makes things awry for Alaine, and her parents decide that spending time with her family in Haiti will give her the foundation to inject some maturity into her teenage self.

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine takes us on a deeply emotional journey, delving into family lore as revealed through the pages of Alaine’s and her mother’s childhood journals.

The Moulite sisters have an organic ability for storytelling. Alaine is holographic, seeming to jump off the page, hand on hip, as the story develops. The voice of this typically egocentric teenager is vivid and comical. It was as if I was sitting in class behind Alaine or lurking behind the cars, eavesdropping on the adults.

The authors insinuate Haiti into the narrative as an additional character, not just as the main setting, but she’s a protagonist. They portray Haiti as an oasis, ready to be discovered and hopeful for what future generations will bring.

This novel is insightful and thoughtful, and the authors deserve a round of applause. I promise you’ll devour this novel’s richness!

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine is a must-read for all ages.

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About the author(s).

MAIKA MOULITE is a Miami native and the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She loves writing: books, think pieces, journal entries, neverending lists, you name it. When she’s not scribbling every random thought into her notes app, she’s sharpening her skills as a Howard University PhD student. (That means more writing.) Her research focuses on representation in media and its impact on marginalized groups. She’s the eldest of four sisters and loves audiobooks, fierce female leads, and laughing.

MARITZA MOULITE graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of Southern California with a master’s in journalism. She’s worked in various capacities for NBC News, CNN, and USA TODAY but her favorite roles were Head Start literacy tutor and pre-k teacher assistant. She loved working with young people so much that she is now a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania exploring ways to improve literacy through children’s media. She clearly couldn’t get enough of school. Her favorite song is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.

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