Idea/Concept: Del Valle's autobiographical tale, adapted from her stage play, provides a textured, vibrant reading experience. Through the author’s rich recollections, she offers both a visceral look at her own upbringing—in all its joys and hours of suffering—as well as perceptive commentary on the changes unfolding in a Brooklyn neighborhood.
Prose: The author writes with a fluid, rhythmic cadence that heightens the story’s power. The crackling language effectively mirrors young Del Valle's inner turmoil as well as her zest for life and desire to live meaningfully.
Originality: Memoirs of childhood abound, but Del Valle makes the format her own through her performative writing style and vivid scene building. The work elicits a range of emotions from receptive young readers.
Execution: Del Valle creatively and successfully weaves a poignant story of her transforming childhood home and the effects such changes have on her, her family, and the broader community.
Date Submitted: January 09, 2020