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Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance

Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance

By Eleanora E. Tate

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies: African American Heritage

Grades: 3 – 7


It’s 1921, and when Celeste Lassiter Massey goes to stay with her Aunt Valentina in Harlem, she is not thrilled to trade her friends and comfortable North Carolina surroundings for scary big city life with a famous actress. While Celeste absorbs the excitement of the Harlem Renaissance in full swing, she sees as much grit as glamour. A passionate writer, talented violinist, and aspiring doctor, Celeste eventually faces a choice between ambition and loyalty, roots and horizons. The decision will change her forever.


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“[Tate] draws her characters with charming humor and multidimensional candor.” -SLJ


“Tate has created a fully realized heroine….Readers will likely happily accompany Celeste on her journey.” –Publishers Weekly


“Complex, distinctive, and well developed. Celeste’s wide-eyed observations…pull readers in.” –The Horn Book


“Readers will connect with [Celeste’s] strong, regional voice. Both sobering and inspiring, Tate’s novel is a moving portrait of growing up black and female in 1920s America.” –Booklist

“Tate has an eye, and an ear, for the ambience of the era. Celeste and her friends and family are well-conceived individuals, both real and imagined….Absorbing.” –Kirkus