Ola Shakes It Up by Joanne HyppoliteOla Shakes It Up by Joanne Hyppolite

Ola Shakes It Up

byJoanne HyppoliteIllustratorWarren Chang

Paperback | November 6, 2001

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Moving? When Ola Benson's family leaves Roxbury in Boston to a house in the suburbs, Ola is sure her parents have made a big mistake.  What on Earth are they doing in Walcott--a historic, stuck-up town where the Bensons are the only black family?

True, there are a few good things about the move: Mama and Daddy have better jobs.  They have a bigger house, big enough to offer a home to Lillian, a Haitian refugee.  But the house is in a "cooperative community" with a million rules: No kids outside after dark.  No playing in the street.  No jumping in the leaves.  No fun.

Well, if Ola's stuck in Walcott, she'll make it a place where she can feel at home.  Ola the undaunted comes up with plan after plan, including Operation Pretend I Belong Here and Operation Smile If It Kills You.  Finally she hits upon the superspecial can't miss plan: Operation Shake It Up.

Joanne Hyppolite celebrates community, cooperation, and family life in a warm and realistic story with an irrepressible heroine.

From the Hardcover edition.
Title:Ola Shakes It UpFormat:PaperbackPublished:November 6, 2001Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0375895094

ISBN - 13:9780375895098

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12


Read from the Book

"We really are the only black people in this neighborhood?" Aeisha always gets right to the point."Yes."Khatib and Aeisha were quiet for a few seconds, and I moved down one step."And we're really gonna be the only black people at our schools?""Yes."I moved down another step. We were all quiet now, and I knew what everybody was thinking. Living in Boston, you know that there are rules. Everybody lives in their own neighborhoods. Everybody goes to their own schools. People break those rules all the time, but if they do, they usually end up on the six o'clock news. Were we gonna get in any trouble for living here? I moved down another step until I was squeezed in tight between Dad and Mama."So we're the only black people in this town?" Khatib asked slowly. "How are people gonna feel about us?" An Excerpt from Ola Shakes It Up         Dad pulled the car back out into the street, and in a few seconds we pulled         into the driveway of another blue-and-white house. "Number seven-twenty-seven.         Home."        I stared out of the car window at the house. It made our house back in         Roxbury look like a beat-up old shed. This house had big, wide windows         instead of the small, tight windows in our old house. This house had a         tall, polished wood double door instead of a too-low single door with         peeling paint, like our old house. I felt like I was looking at a blown-up-to-life-size         version of those dollhouses we used to see in the store catalogs. Aeisha         had always wanted one of those dollhouses, but they were too expensive.        Then I looked at the other houses. They looked like dollhouses, too. In         fact, they all looked like exactly the same dollhouse. How was I going         to find my way home from school in this neighborhood? Even Dad didn't         know his own house.        "It's all wrong," I said. Khatib and Aeisha nodded with me. They put on         their most sorrowful expressions to show Mama, except that Khatib's expression         looked more like he was sick than upset.        Mama twisted her neck to look at us. "It'll look prettier in the spring,         when the grass gets back to being green and the trees fill out."        Ha, I thought. What about the humongous front lawn? It looked like it         was the size of Franklin Park. Who was gonna take care of it? Dad hated         doing yard work and Khatib was always at basketball practice. Who was         gonna shovel all the snow in the winter? Who was gonna rake the millions         of leaves that fell off those big trees? Not me.        "Come out, all you." Mama held the car door open for me. 'At least you         can have a look inside."        Khatib, Aeisha and I glanced at each other. I could tell they were wimping         out, 'cause neither of them looked me in the eye.        "Guess it wouldn't hurt." Khatib shrugged.        "We're already here," Aeisha pointed out.        "No way!" I whispered loudly.        The looked at each other again, and the next thing I knew they were climbing         all over me to get out of the car and running up the front lawn to the         house. Traitors.        From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"Hyppolite gives an old story--moving to a new town--an unusual twist and a very appealing protagonist...A warmhearted look at a potentially explosive emotional situation, handled with grace and humor."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A story that speaks directly to a contemporary audience."
--School Library Journal

From the Hardcover edition.