A Girl's Guide to Love and Magic
Author: Debbie Rigaud
This YA novel from Debbie Rigaud is a celebration of Haitian and Caribbean culture, and a story of first love, vodou, and finding yourself, all set against the backdrop of the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.
Cicely Destin, a Haitian American teen living in Brooklyn, loves the annual West Indian Day Parade that takes place in her neighborhood. The colors, clothes, tastes, sights, and sounds all celebrating Caribbean culture fill her with pride and joy. This year, the parade will be extra special: it falls on Cicely's birthday, AND Cicely will get to hang out with her awesome aunt, Mimose, a social media influencer known for dabbling in Haitian vodou. But when Mimose's dabbling becomes a little too real, and she seems to be possessed by a rogue spirit right before the parade, it's up to Cicely, plus her best friend, Renee, and her crush (!), Kwame, to try to set things right. Cicely and her friends set off on a winding, thrilling scavenger hunt through Brooklyn to find the items that will undo the possession. But can Cicely help her aunt if she doesn't fully realize her own powers just yet?
This nuanced, joyful, and loving exploration of Haitian American culture, based on Debbie Rigaud's own experiences growing up, is pure magic.