Cameron Battle author Jamar J. Perry shares his must-read childhood favourites

Published on: 03 March 2022

For World Book Day, Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms author Jamar J. Perry shares the stories he loved when he was growing up...

Hello everyone! This is Jamar J. Perry, author of the upcoming middle grade fantasy novel Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms.

I'm so excited to be sharing with you all just some of the books that I used to read as a child growing up, and that I kind of used to help me write my debut novel.

My most favourite novel is Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. It is one of the best books that I think has ever been written. It's about a young girl named Cassie Logan who lives on a farm with her parents during the Great Depression and during Jim Crow.

So we get to know who she is, we get to know the historical implications of living through the Great Depression and Jim Crow for this young Black girl, and we get to understand just some of the horror of what it meant to be Black during the Jim Crow era but also the fun times and what it meant to be a family during that time as well.

Jamar J Perry holding up Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Another novel that I really loved growing up was The Watsons Go to Birmingham [by Christopher Paul Curtis]. It is about a boy named Kenny who lives in the North in America and him and his family decide to go to the South one summer.

We get to understand the Civil Rights Movement through his eyes and we get to really know who these characters are, what they go through, and how they come to love each other during such a harrowing and just traumatic time period.

Another novel that I loved was Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis - I absolutely loved this novel as well. It is about a Black boy named Luther who is... he's been going through a lot, I'm going to say!

He doesn't like where he lives and he wants to just escape to be himself, but he can't escape because his mother, whom he nicknames The Sarge, is always on top of him and always wants to make sure that he's doing what he needs to do. So it's a really, really funny novel but it also features a Black boy at the centre.

Another novel that I used to read when I was a child that really made me love reading, that really made me want to write a Black boy in a fantasy novel, was Pendragon: The Merchant of Death by D. J. MacHale.

It is about a boy who learns that he is the saviour of worlds and he has to go to different worlds in order to stop an evil that is threatening to consume everything. And so it's one of the reasons why I wanted to really showcase in my debut novel how a Black boy goes to different worlds and how he is a hero.

Those are just some of the novels that I used to read when I was a child, and I just can't wait to see what you love to read too!

Topics: Features

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