From Yard to Foreign is billed as “an original contemporary Caribbean immigrant chapter book for adolescents.” Readers who migrated to U.S. in their formative years may recognize some of the experiences of 12-year-old Kenny, the main character who, along with his mom and sister, joins his father in the Big Apple. His reaction to various events such as his first subway ride and a visit to the "beach" at Coney Island definitely brought back memories.
Although the work is geared toward middle school students, author Lyn Davis says, “It is for readers who are struggling, whether it’s with a language barrier or from a lack of regular instruction. Students can find a topic in the book to spark their curiosity and can engage in rich discussions about the themes. ”
Davis, who is of Jamaican heritage, was completing a master’s degree in education and during her research discovered that books about immigrant children of Caribbean descent transitioning into larger countries were few and far between. “After completing the book I realized it could be anyone’s story,” says Davis, who wrote it as part of a thesis project. “I wasn’t ready for the impact of writing such a book. I wasn’t ready for gaining the insights I did about the experiences of the immigrant child.”
The author had much more to say:
On what was the most difficult thing about writing From Yard to Foreign:
“Reflecting on my own experiences when I first came to the United States as a young adult was the hardest thing for me. There were no support systems as there are now when I was a middle schooler. Thinking about what happened to me when I was younger as I was creating the plot for my characters was not easy.”
On the book being a part of a series:
“The characters in From Yard to Foreign will show up in other books and handle their own challenges. I feel that it is not only important to tell the story of a Caribbean immigrant child, but also the story of other children in the same age range. The middle school years are some of the toughest both academically and social-emotionally for children, let alone having to fit in to a new school, a new country and many times, a new continent.”
On the benefits and drawbacks of self-publishing:
“You can produce a story with subject matters that are really important, especially in these volatile times. If you send it to a large publisher it may not even be read, let alone published. On the flip side, when you self-publish you don’t have the opportunity to have an agent with connections who can expose your work to a wider audience and in the ‘right’ circles.”
On the advice she would give to the main character in the book:
“I would tell Kenny to continue to stick close to his family and to always speak up for himself and others. He should never forget his roots and where he came from.”
To learn more about writer Lyn Davis, visit her Instagram page @From_Yard_to_Foreign or her Facebook page From Yard to Foreign. The pages are interactive so visitors can pose questions and exchange views with others.
Christmas is around the corner so add From Yard to Foreign to your wish list or get it as a stocking stuffer for the youngsters you know. Order your copy from amazon.com today!
Kudos to you Lyn Davis. It's so important to inspire young minds in a positive way. Your efforts and platform to reaching out to children and adults and to tell their experiences and stories enable you to be a voice for many, as many of our past and current heroes-Maurice Bishop, Biko, Winnie Mandela, Huey...and even Robert Mugabe.
Robert Mugabe to black Zimbabwe citizens – You Will Appreciate Me More When I Am Gone
My fellow Zimbabweans, I am writing this letter and hope that all of you will read it and share it. My days on this earth are numbered, but I know that once I am gone, you and your children will never forget about me.
I want you to understand that the reason I have stayed long in power, 36 years on, is because I want to empower all of you my fellow black Zimbabweans. No other president in the entire continent of Africa has done what I have done for you, but you continue to take me for granted.
Do you know that in the whole of Africa, Zimbabweans are the only blacks who own their land? We are the only blacks who own and run means of production, we own our own companies, our own land. That is the true meaning of independence. Political and economic independence.
I have fought tooth and nail my entire political life to ensure that all of you have both political and economic independence. I don’t hate white people, no, not at all. What I hate is their thinking that they are better than us, that they can just come to our country and take our resources and our land, and tell us what to do. To that I say no. Today, I am happy that almost all the land is in black hands.
It is up to you to use the education I gave you to develop the land so it is productive so you can feed yourself. One thing I am proud of is that I worked hard to ensure our natural resources and our land was given back to its rightful owners: you the black people of Zimbabwe.
Go to other countries in Africa. Right here just across he Limpopo, in South Africa, Mandela sold out and gave all the land and economy to the whites. The blacks in South Africa will be slaves to white South Africans forever. As long as land is not in the hands of its rightful owners, the Africans, the black man will continue to suffer in his own land.
The real wealth is now in your hands, I wrestled it away from the white people who came to steal it from you. Yes, the world was angry at me and punished the whole country with sanctions, but I don’t care because I know I was doing the right thing. I was empowering my people. You.
Take care of the land and the industries I have you.
I did my part; the ball is now in your court. Do your part.
You will remember me and appreciate me for what I have done for you when I am gone.
Your president and leader
Africa for Africans..........Robert Gabriel Mugabe