Betty Before X.

with Renée Watson. Betty Before X. 4 CDs. 4:30 hrs. Macmillan Audio. Jan. 2018. $29.99. ISBN 9781427293688. digital download.
Gr 3–7—Betty Dean is heartbroken when her beloved Aunt Fannie Mae, who raised her, dies. She is sent north to live with her mother, stepfather, three younger half-sisters, and two younger half-brothers in Detroit. This fascinating first-person fictionalized biography of the future activist and wife of Malcolm X focuses on Betty's years between age 11 and just before high school. Betty is drawn into volunteering for the Housewives League, which supports black-owned businesses and advocates for black people to be hired by a variety of businesses. Through her work for the League, and the support of a family in her church, Betty is able to move beyond her difficult relationship with her mother and find confidence and purpose in her young life. The audio presentation is read by the author, the daughter of Malcom X and Dr. Betty Shabazz.
VERDICT While the pacing is somewhat inconsistent and occasionally choppy, the narrator's conviction in the power of the story being told shines through, providing a significant and worthwhile listening experience.

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