Readings from the book were done by 7th grade girls from St. Andrew High school to enthusiastic applause. A solo item on pan was given by a St.Andrew High past student, Bianca Welds. Diane herself is a proud past student/teacher of St. Andrew High, as she keeps reminding the rest of us.
It was an event, everyone agreed, which would have made Princess in the story (that's her real name) very proud.(This speaks to the strength of the characterization of Princess. Readers see her as very real.)
Approval of the story was given in several forms- from the CEO of Carlong, Carl Carby admitting that he had read it through twice and thoroughly enjoyed it; to the Director General of the Jamaica Library Service, Patricia Roberts, saying she intended to get a red coat just like Princess on the cover. (She emphasized that she was not joking).
The main address was given by Dorothy Noel, Publishing Manager of Carlong in her usual scintillating style. She emphasized the importance of local literature for our children and the need for support from the public and the Ministry of Education..
Diane Browne's address 'Princess in her own Words' can be read on her blog at
From all the anecdotes coming in, there's no doubt about it: the book is a hit. The main theme - how to fit into the new environment in Brooklyn, having been brought up by Granny in Jamaica for thirteen years - resonates with many Jamaicans. Its lively dialogue and presentation of teenage anxieties told in Princess's own words will be familiar to and entertain the 'tween' readers.
I add my exhortation to those of all the speakers. "Buy the book, nuh!"
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