Let Me Hear a Rhyme (Paperback)

Let Me Hear a Rhyme By Tiffany D. Jackson Cover Image
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Summer 2019 Kids Indie Next List


“Jackson’s third novel transports you straight into the Brooklyn of the late ’90s, full of great hip-hop and rap references, dial-up internet, and the cultural reverberations of the murders of Tupac and Biggie on the black community. When their best friend is shot and killed, two teens attempt to keep his spirit alive by convincing his younger sister to let them make years of his secretly recorded rap music go viral. Jackson’s characters are tangible and her atmosphere is so timely, even though it is set 20 years in the past.”
— Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana, Frederick, MD

Description


In this striking new novel by the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly and Monday’s Not Coming, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he's still alive.

Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph’s music lie forgotten under his bed after he’s murdered—not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party.

With the help of Steph’s younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio must prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

As the pressure of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only, each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, they need to decide what they stand for or lose all that they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.

"Jackson scores a bullseye with her passionate homage to Black city life in the late ’90s." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")

About the Author


Tiffany D. Jackson is the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly, Monday’s Not Coming, and Let Me Hear a Rhyme. A Walter Dean Myers Honor Book and Coretta Scott King–John Steptoe New Talent Award winner, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University, earned her master of arts in media studies from the New School, and has over a decade in TV and film experience. The Brooklyn native still resides in the borough she loves. You can visit her at www.writeinbk.com.

Praise For…


★ “Exceptional storytelling, well-crafted, true-to-life dialogue, and the richly drawn Brooklyn landscape will draw readers into this fast-paced blend of mystery, budding romance, and social commentary...Thoroughly engrossing and as infectious as Steph’s lyrics.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

★ “Jackson repeatedly proves that she is a titan among her peers, and her latest novel is no exception...  Jackson weaves the three points of view together seamlessly, creating richly drawn and authentically real teen characters.” — ALA Booklist (starred review)

★ “Deftly chronicles the timely story of bold young talent gone too soon... Jackson scores a bull’s-eye with her passionate homage to black city life in the late ’90s, yet it’s her earnest takes on creativity, love, and loss that are timeless.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

★ “This YA novel harmonizes music and prose to create a certified literary banger.” — Shelf Awareness (starred review)

★ “Readers will feel connected to these teens’ love of hip-hop, their loyalty to each other and their love for their community... offers moving portraits of young people... an engaging ode to ’90s hip-hop and to love in many forms.” — BookPage (starred review)

“With thoughtful attention to detail, Jackson offers a believable cast of Black teens immersed in a particularly rich hip-hop moment. The combination of lyricism and narrative realism is an effective mode of representing a particular sort of adolescence against the backdrops of New York City and rap music.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Jackson presents a fast-moving, heart-pounding homage to nineties hip-hop, Brooklyn, and the power of music, love, and friendship. Readers are transported to a time when DJs and MCs r