Laurel-Rain's Reviews > Ship of Souls

Ship of Souls by Zetta Elliott
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's review
Feb 15, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 10 to 15, 2012

In New York City, a pre-teen boy named Dmitri loses his mother to cancer, and without any other family, finds himself in foster care. His foster mother seems caring, but she is also parenting a crack-addicted baby, so her attention is divided.

In school, “D” meets a Muslim basketball star Keem when he is asked to tutor him in math. Both boys are enchanted by a young girl, Nyla, who has numerous piercings and an attitude.

These three African-American pre-teens connect and form an odd pack when they decide to go to the park with D, who enjoys bird watching.

A strange bird that talks and shape shifts appears to D one day, and from that day forward, nothing is the same.

What quest is D following with the bird as his guide? Why do Keem and Nyla decide to participate? When the three end up underground with an even stranger assortment of “characters,” what will eventually bring them back to their world?

A very short book, "Ship of Souls" was an inspiring tale that helps the reader understand how loneliness and not fitting in can lead to intriguing journeys. Despite the shortness of the story, I did find myself empathetic with each of the characters and rooting for them in their quest. Four stars.

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