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Riot Baby
Cover of Riot Baby
Riot Baby
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Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor's son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven't happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands.

Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are both shockingly human and immeasurably powerful. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by racism. Their futures might alter the world.

Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor's son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven't happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands.

Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are both shockingly human and immeasurably powerful. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by racism. Their futures might alter the world.

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About the Author-
  • Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of the young adult novel Beasts Made of Night, which won the Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African; its sequel, Crown of Thunder; and War Girls. He holds a BA from Yale, an MFA in screenwriting from the Tisch School of the Arts, a master's degree in economic law from Sciences Po, and a JD from Columbia Law School. His fiction has appeared in Panverse Three, Asimov's Science Fiction, Obsidian, Omenana magazine, Lightspeed, and Uncanny. His nonfiction has appeared in Nowhere magazine, the Oxford University Press blog, Tor.com, and the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, among other places. Riot Baby is his adult fiction debut.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Author/narrator Tochi Onyebuchi portrays characters who personify the violent world they live in. Ella has special powers, including the ability to see things that haven't happened yet. When her brother, Kev, is imprisoned, she has to decide whether or not to use her powers to free him. Onyebuchi delivers the intensity of his plot in an unflinching style. His characters are animated and in-your-face, while at the same time caring in a tough-love sort of way. There are times when the listener wonders if the characters' troubles will ever get better, but Onyebuchi's narration offers hope. In the second half of the audiobook, his steady pace allows listeners to follow the details that bring this story to an unexpected, powerful close. T.E.C. � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 11, 2019
    Onyebuchi (War Girls) paints a grim, dystopian portrait of contemporary America shot through with elements of the supernatural in this urgent, brutal work. Ella Jackson and her baby brother, Kev, are both preternaturally gifted. The “Riot Baby,” Kev, is born in 1992 Los Angeles, just hours after the courts acquitted the cops that beat Rodney King and the city erupted in violence. As a teenager in New York, Kev is brutally assaulted by police and arrested for no crime but being black; he spends the next eight years incarcerated at Rikers. During this time, Ella visits him both in person and psychically, constantly using her powers to offer him glimpses of freedom and life outside the prison walls and lead him on a path toward a revolutionary future as, in the outside world, incidents of police brutality rise and their mother’s health fails. Onyebuchi’s unexpectedly hopeful ending is just as powerful as his unflinching, heartbreaking depictions of racism and cruelty. This staggering story is political speculative fiction at its finest.

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    Blackstone Publishing
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Riot Baby
Riot Baby
Tochi Onyebuchi
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