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The Harlem Charade

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Fans of Chasing Vermeer will love this clever mystery about art, artifice, and the power of community.

WATCHER. SHADOW. FUGITIVE.Harlem is home to all kinds of kids. Jin sees life passing her by from the window of her family's bodega. Alex wants to help the needy one shelter at a time, but can't tell anyone who she really is. Elvin's living on Harlem's cold, lonely streets, surviving on his own after his grandfather was mysteriously attacked.When these three strangers join forces to find out what happened to Elvin's grandfather, their digging leads them to an enigmatic artist whose missing masterpieces are worth a fortune — one that might save the neighborhood from development by an ambitious politician who wants to turn it into Harlem World, a ludicrous historic theme park. But if they don't find the paintings soon, nothing in their beloved neighborhood will ever be the same...In this remarkable tale of daring and danger, debut novelist Natasha Tarpley explores the way a community defines itself, the power of art to show truth, and what it really means to be home.

ISBN-13: 9780545783880

Media Type: Paperback(Reprint)

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Publication Date: 04-24-2018

Pages: 320

Product Dimensions: 5.25(w) x 7.63(h) x (d)

Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Natasha Tarpley is the author of the bestselling picture book I Love My Hair! and other acclaimed titles for children and adults. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, among other awards. When she is not writing books, Ms. Tarpley can usually be found reading them. She has also taken up the cruel and unusual hobby of running marathons. Ms. Tarpley is the cofounder of Voonderbar! Media, a multicultural children's book publishing and media company. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Read an Excerpt

Elvin pressed his ear to the wall. He could hear two men Elvin pressed his ear to the wall. He could hear two men talking. "How could you have made so many mistakes?" a new voice boomed, deep and stern. "How could you have let that kid discover the painting? The garden was on the list. That should have been us. And then the old man gave you nothing." "I didn't let anyone do anything," the whiny voice complained. "And besides, if it wasn't for that kid, we wouldn't have even known about the painting." At that moment, Jin and Alex were sizing up a pile of damp lumber. Jin tucked the notebook she'd been carrying beneath her armpit, and the two of them bent to pick up the wood. Once they lifted it, Jin saw hundreds of black spots, one on top the other. "Ants!" she panted, trying her best to swallow the scream that was mounting in her throat. "Ants!" When Alex saw the squirming black spots, she threw the wood down with a loud thunk! and started hopping around wildly, shaking out her long black jacket. Next door, the men stopped talking. "What was that?" one of them asked. Elvin scrambled down the pile of lumber. "They're coming! We have to hide," he said, and ran toward the kitchen sink and pantry in the corner with Jin and Alex right behind him. Once they were safely hidden, Jin realized that in her haste, she'd made a terrible mistake. "My notebook, it's out there," she whispered hoarsely as blood rushed to her ears and her neck got hot with panic. She peered around the edge of the sink. Her pale pink notebook lay, exposed and vulnerable, on the floor in the middle of the room. And now, as the two men from next door came charging into the room, it was too late to rescue it.