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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

Title

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

Author(s)

Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

Genre

Young Adult

Many first-generation Americans have an insatiable need to learn about the country our parents left behind to give future generations better opportunities. We’re regaled with fanciful stories of how our people escaped [fill in the reason your family emmigrated] and landed on the shores of the United States to live a better life. Some will never get to visit where their parents came of age. They’ll never quite understand what it means to pick up and start anew with maybe only the clothes on their backs. To learn a new language, a new system, and a new culture. To assimilate.

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine is an emotional journey through family lore as told through the pages of the journal Alaine’s mother kept as a teenager in Haiti.

Few go through their teenage years with so much happening in a short (relatively) time. The adventures and mishaps of the protagonist are reminiscent of some of the Great American Classics such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and perhaps even “The Outsiders.” This story touched a nerve because, while it’s written, for the most part, in the voice of two 17-year-olds, the subject matter is much more complex than garden-variety young adult novels. It also dives into the protagonist’s mother’s past, who is closer to my own age.

As an additional character, the authors insinuate Haiti into the narrative, not just as the main setting, but as a protagonist as well. 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!

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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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