Sunday, September 13, 2009

Taste of Salt Frances Temple

Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti by Frances Temple It's 1980's Haiti, the novels begins with 17 yr old Djo in the hospital. Lafnami Selavi shelter for boys was firebombed. Djo slowly reveal his story to Jeremie so it can live on. Jeremie was brought up to be a model student. Jeremie's mother knowns an education is her only way out of La Saline, one of the poorest areas in Haiti. I loved Taste of Salt. The story moves with beautiful ease. Not only was I entertained but I learned as well. When I read novels such as Taste of Salt I begin to wonder what was I taught in school. It wasn't the unrest in Haiti or their dictator Francois Duvalier. In Lyn Miller- Lachmann's YA novel Gringolandia I learned about Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet From Junot Diaz novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao , I learned about the Dominican Republic dictator Rafeal Trujillo . The only dictator I learned about in school was Fidel Castro. (Excuse that little dictator detour, now back to Tast of Salt)
Djo shares a story with Jeremie

"You know this story, Jeremie? How if a person dies, and their body is stolen by a zombie master, the zombie master will make the body rise and work all day and all night as a slave. The zombie understands only his suffering. He has no power to break away. He can only work and work. But there is one little trick that can save the zombie. Do you remember what it is, Jeremie? Did your mama tell you this? If the zombie can get a taste of salt, he will understand. He will open his true eyes and see that he has been made a zombie. And he will turn against his master. He will obey him no longer. He will make himself free. I am not so quick, Jeremie. Among us boys. I use these books and think nothing about the title. Then one day I see what being able to read and write is like. You understand things you didn't before."

I really enjoyed listening to Djo story unfold. The more time Djo and Jeremie spend together the greater their connection. Jeremie has a story one of her own. Taste of Salt was such an easy book to fall into, I highly recommend it. Would be a great selection for a boy/girl book club.


Color Online said...

The detour is exactly the kind of tie-in I live for when we talk about the literature we read.

I think we own this. It is impossible to come here and not add another book to my tbr. You're killing me. :-)

Doret said...

I have Mary Ann to thank for this one
Taste of Salt is well worth reading.

Ali said...

Going to look for this one for Ben. Thanks!