Maritza Moulite, a first-year doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, just published her second young-adult novel titled "One of the Good Ones" only 16 months after publishing her debut novel "Dear Haiti, Love Alaine."

 

Written alongside her sister Maika, a 32-year-old doctoral student at Howard University, One of the Good Ones, asks a simple question: “Shouldn’t being human be enough?” This question is asked after the suspicious death of teen activist Kezi Smith while she was in police custody. As Kezi’s family deals with her untimely death, her sisters Happi and Genny start to honor Kezi in their own way by using the Green Book, a guidebook for traveling African Americans published in 1936. Kezi’s story evolves even after her death and something is revealed that will change everything all over again.

The Philadelphia Inquirer describes the novel as one that “challenges the idea that some victims of racial injustice are more worthy of notice than others.” In a recent interview, the sisters were asked why this story, containing what some would call adult themes, is instead in the Young Adult genre. Martiza and Maika said ,“I would say that young Black people in America are forced to grow up much more rapidly than some of our non-Black counterparts. So there is this idea that books that talk about certain things, whether it’s sexuality or race or whatever the topic might be, that this is too adult, this can’t be discussed with a young person. In reality, young people are having these conversations amongst themselves.”

Growing up in Miami, Maika and Maritza are the oldest of four sisters and are daughters of Haitian immigrants.

 

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