Kaitlyn Greenidge's We Love You, Charlie Freeman
Well, this book was kind of crazy. I actually had to put it down for a couple of days because I was so stressed out about things that MIGHT happen to the characters. But let me back up: this is the story of an African-American family, chosen to live with/raise a chimpanzee at a research institute--chosen because they know sign language. But the institute has a troubling past, and flashbacks to their early studies reveal some distressing things. It's also has a coming of age element regarding the two daughters who are supposed to treat this chimp like their brother, but who have a lot of other stuff going on. There is a really interesting examination of racism in America here, along with family issues, sexuality, and scientific ethics. I definitely wished there was a little bit MORE here--I think the last third could have used a little more padding--but on the whole, this was a very strong debut. A-/B+.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in March.