Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper (Atheneum, 1999)(Simon Pulse, 2006)(excerpt). In this retelling inspired by Shakespeare’s famed star-crossed lovers, Julio is the new kid, a Mexican-American who’s just fallen hard for an African American girl named Romiette. The bad news? A violent local gang, the Devildogs, wants the two separated permanently…or else. Will these two soul mates meet the same end as Romeo and Juliet, or does fate have different plans? Ages 12-up.
I just reread Romiette and Julio in preparation for my summer lecture as a faculty member at the Vermont College M.F.A. program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. I’m focussing on retellings and reinventions of classic tales.
I’ll be adding the novel to my bibliography of Children’s and YA books with Interracial Family Themes on the novels page. Books of this kind are still under-published.
Cynsational News & Links
Beloved, Out-of-Print Children’s Books from the Children’s Book Council. Cyn Note: My favorite, previously out-of-print book is Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Cheryl Savageau, illustrated by Robert Hines, originally published by Rising Moon, 1996. I’m thrilled to say the book was re-released by Tilbury House this spring–available as of April 2006!
See also The Public Librarian’s Role in Serving the Homeschooled Student by Maria Zawacki from CBC.