THE SOUTHERN PHOENIX: Review by a correspondent, AAF, California State Prison:
I was thoroughly impressed by The Southern Phoenix by Rosemary Jenkins. Her style evokes every emotion in the reader–from happiness to anger to sadness to empathy and nostalgia. The story was absolutely touching, motivating, and informative. The language took me some time to get used to at first, because of the challenge which comes with understanding an accurate Southern accent, but once I was able to grasp the inflections of Miss Mae Emma, I had a much smoother time at reading the book. The scene of Miss Mae Emma talking with Udeka Yawfe brings back memories of my grandmother who would stay up with me long into the night, telling stories about her childhood in Alabama. Ba’ Bro’s life is the classic story of a man whose suffering and hardships turned him into a successful man. One of the most touching parts of the book is Ba’ Bro’s emotional eulogy for his friend. I like how Ms. Jenkins was able to relate relevant social themes by having an adult speak to a child in simple enough terms so that the child (any child) can understand without insulting a child’s intelligence. The very fact that an adult is having such heavy conversations with such a young person is evidence of the respect that all adults should show towards young people. This book is a good read for everybody so I highly recommend it!