Moving? When Ola Benson's family leaves Roxbury in Boston to a house in the suburbs, Ola is sure her parents have made a big mistake. What on Earth are they doing in Walcott--a historic, stuck-up town where the Bensons are the only black family?
True, there are a few good things about the move: Mama and Daddy have better jobs. They have a bigger house, big enough to offer a home to Lillian, a Haitian refugee. But the house is in a "cooperative community" with a million rules: No kids outside after dark. No playing in the street. No jumping in the leaves. No fun.
Well, if Ola's stuck in Walcott, she'll make it a place where she can feel at home. Ola the undaunted comes up with plan after plan, including Operation Pretend I Belong Here and Operation Smile If It Kills You. Finally she hits upon the superspecial can't miss plan: Operation Shake It Up.
Joanne Hyppolite celebrates community, cooperation, and family life in a warm and realistic story with an irrepressible heroine.
Joanne Hyppolite was born in Haiti in 1969. Her family settled in the United States when she was four years old, and she grew up in Boston. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in creative writing and received her master's degree from the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in Florida, where she plans to pursue her goals of writing and teaching. Joanne is currently studying for her doctorate in Caribbean literature. Seth and Samona, her first novel, won the Second Annual Marguerite de Angeli Prize. Hyppolite's 1998 novel, Ola Shakes It Up, follows nine-year-old Ola as she shakes up the "cooperative community" of Walcott Corners in an effort to make it as lively as her old neighborhood of Roxbury.
Warren Chang is an award-winning artist and illustrator. He graduated the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, in 1981 with a BFA in illustration. Among his illustration credits are the Encyclopedia Brown books and Ola Shakes It Up by Joanne Hyppolite. Chang is also a highly acclaimed oil painter and was inducted as a Master Signature member of the prestigious Oil Painters of America, the largest organization of oil painters in the United States. He lives in California and teaches at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University.