Alex Wheatle with C.J. Farley

Saturday, 24 October 2020 - 1:00pm

Saturday, October 24, 1PMImage description: Portrait of author Alex Wheatle, in a black jacket and smiling, with trees and sky in background

Join us for a virtual event with Neustadt Prize Finalist, award-winning writer, and reggae fan Alex Wheatle, author of the new young adult book Cane Warriors. Alex will be joined by C.J. Farley, author of Around Harvard Square.

Irresistible, gripping, and unforgettable, Cane Warriors follows the true story of Tacky's War in Jamaica in 1760. A powerful young adult tale told through the eyes of Moa, a fourteen-year-old slave, this fictionalized account of the most significant rebellion of the time is rarely mentioned in history books or taught in schools.

This event will take place on Zoom Webinar. Click HERE on 10/24 at 1PM to join (or copy and paste the Zoom Webinar link at the bottom of this page).

"Alex Wheatle writes from a place of honesty and passion, with the full knowledge and understanding that change can only happen through words and actions."
--Steve McQueen, Academy Award-winning film director of 12 Years a Slave

"The importance of this book cannot be overstated. Alex Wheatle takes the truth and creates fiction to illuminate that truth. He too is a warrior--a word warrior. I saw my ancestors in this book, and now I know that Alex and I really are brothers."
--Benjamin Zephaniah, author of Gangsta Rap

"Though it is a work of fiction, Cane Warriors is rooted in reality, the horrors of colonialism, and the subjugation of a people, which provides an educational experience for the reader with the turning of each crisp page...Cane Warriors serves as an inspiring but also sobering reminder that the fight for survival spans across centuries and is very much ongoing. And it is not about the survival of a lone individual, but rather the collective struggle, what that entails, and what it means."
--Nadine White, news reporter, HuffPost UK

Image description: Black and white portrait of author C. J. Farley, wearing a dark jacket and glasses

C.J. Farley is the author of four novels, “Game World,” “My Favorite War,” “Kingston by Starlight,” and “Around Harvard Square,” and a number of nonfiction books including the national bestseller “Aaliyah: More than a Woman,” which was adapted into a hit movie for Lifetime television. Farley has won numerous awards for his work including honors from the National Association of Black Journalists and the Deadline Club of New York, and his biography “Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley” was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in Brockport, New York, Farley is a former music critic and senior editor for Time magazine, a former senior editor for the Wall Street Journal, and a graduate of Harvard University, where he worked as an editor of the Harvard Lampoon. His latest novel is “Around Harvard Square,” a book Walter Isaacson called “sharp and imaginative,” Marlon James called “ferociously funny” and Andy Borowitz called “a delight.”



Cane Warriors Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617758553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Black Sheep - October 20th, 2020

Irresistible, gripping, and unforgettable, Cane Warriors follows the true story of Tacky's War in Jamaica in 1760. A powerful young adult tale told through the eyes of Moa, a fourteen-year-old slave, this fictionalized account of the most significant rebellion of the time is rarely mentioned in history books or taught in schools.

The story begins as Moa is awoken in the middle of the night by one of the rebels, who informs him that the revolt will begin on Easter Sunday. Moa's father doesn't like the idea of his son joining the rebellion, but his mother gives Moa her blessing. Together, Moa and his sixteen-year-old best friend Keverton take up arms, learning about brotherhood, courage, faith, and sacrifice along the way.

Alex Wheatle's brilliant storytelling and characterization vividly bring to life the issues, pain, and the power structure of the era, along with the hopes and the dreams of the people. In writing this story, Wheatle's meticulous and extensive research evokes the stories and legends passed down by word of mouth over the centuries.

"Black Sheep stands tall with Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle, following Moa, an enslaved 14-year-old in 1760s Jamaica who is recruited by rebels to fight in the slave rebellion called Tacky's War."
--Publishers Weekly, included in Sneak Previews for Fall 2020

"Alex Wheatle is a master storyteller. He writes with urgency, passion, and the empathy we all need to wrestle with the realities of transatlantic slavery, bringing marginalized narratives straight out of the shadows, right into the frame. Every kid in the country needs to read this book."
--Jeffrey Boakye, author of Black, Listed

"This is a vital part of British and Jamaican history brought vividly to life. Alex Wheatle has reclaimed our ancestors and given them the voice they were denied."
--Catherine Johnson, author and screenwriter

"Terrific. A pacy, provocative ode to an important part of Jamaican history from one of our most versatile, trailblazing authors."
--Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch

"I love Alex and all he stands for in the world of literature."
--Kerry Hudson, author of Lowborn

"Alex Wheatle is an inspirer. He sheds light in dark places so that we might see the unseen and hear the unheard. He is a vital writer. He is a prince among men. Long may he reign."
--Lemn Sissay, author of My Name Is Why

Around Harvard Square Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617757143
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Sheep - April 1st, 2019

"This coming-of-age novel, set in the '90s, follows Jamaican-American Tosh Livingston and his group of friends--Lao, Meera, and Zippa--on their quest to land coveted spots on the staff of the Harvard Harpoon, Harvard's humor magazine...The characters' clever dialogue challenges privileged and stereotypical thinking."
--Publishers Weekly

Tosh Livingston, superstar student-athlete from small-town USA, thinks he's made it big as a rising freshman at Harvard University. Not so fast Once on campus, he's ensnared in a frenzied competition to win a spot on Harvard's legendary humor magazine, the Harpoon. Tosh soon finds that joining the Harpoon is a weird and surprisingly dangerous pursuit. He faces off against a secret society of super-rich kids, gets schooled by a philosophy professor who loves flunking everyone, and teams up with a genius student-cartoonist with an agenda of her own. Along the way, Tosh and his band of misfit freshman friends unearth long-buried mysteries about the Ivy League that will rock the Ivory Tower and change their lives forever...if they can survive the semester.

With its whip-smart humor and fast-paced narrative, Around Harvard Square will appeal to readers of all ages interested in exploring the complicated roles that race and class play in higher education.

Around Harvard Square is the winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Youth/Teens)

Around Harvard Square has been named a 2020 Honor Book by the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People

"A smart, satirical novel about surviving the racial and cultural tensions ratcheted up in the elite Harvard hothouse. Farley has created a marvelously engaging and diverse set of characters, at the center of which is a nerdy Jamaican American with a philosophical bent and his cohort of oddballs struggling to win a spot on Harvard's brainy humor magazine, which provides a springboard for Farley to dive into the ethics of comedy, among other subjects."
--National Book Review, included in Monday's 5 Hot Books

Gameworld Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617751974
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Sheep - February 4th, 2014


Dylan Rudee's life is an epic fail. He's bullied at school and the aunt who has raised him since he was orphaned as a child just lost her job and their apartment. Dylan's one chance to help his family is the only thing he's good at: video games. The multibillion-dollar company Mee Corp. has announced a televised tournament to find the Game-Changers: the forty-four kids who are the best in the world at playing Xamaica, a role-playing fantasy game that's sweeping the planet. If Dylan can win the top prize, he just might be able to change his life.

It turns out that Dylan is the greatest gamer anyone has ever seen, and his skills unlock a real-life fantasy world inside the game. Now actual monsters are trying to kill him, and he is swept up into an adventure along with his too-tall genius sister Emma, his hacker best friend Eli, and Ines Mee, the privileged daughter of Mee Corp.'s mysterious CEO and chief inventor. Along the way they encounter Nestuh, a giant spider who can spin a story but not a web; Baron Zonip, a hummingbird king who rules a wildly wealthy treetop kingdom; and an enchantress named Nanni who, with her shadow army, may be bent on conquering Xamaica and stealing its magic.

In order to save his sister and his friends, Dylan must solve a dangerous mystery in three days and uncover secrets about Xamaica, his family, and himself. But will he discover his hidden powers before two worlds--Xamaica and Earth--are completely destroyed?

Home Girl Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617757532
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Black Sheep - September 3rd, 2019


This isn't my home. Haven't had a proper home since...This is just somewhere I'll be resting my bones for a week and maybe a bit. This time next year you'll forget who I am. I haven't got a diddly where I'll be by then. But I'm used to it.

New from the best-selling black British author Alex Wheatle, Home Girl is the story of Naomi, a teenage girl growing up fast in the foster care system. It is a wholly modern story which sheds a much-needed light on what can be an unsettling life--and the consequences that follow when children are treated like pawns on a family chessboard.

Home Girl is fast-paced and funny, tender, tragic, and full of courage--just like Naomi. It is Alex Wheatle's most moving and personal novel to date.

Event Address: 
Zoom Webinar link:
Minneapolis, MN 55410
United States