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7+ Works 121 Members 3 Reviews

About the Author

Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT, and The Watering Hole and was the 2015 National College Slam (CUPSI) Best Poet. Julian is the curator of Winter Tangerine Review's Lineage of Mirrors. His work has appeared or is forthcoming show more in publications such as New York Times Magazine, the Georgia Review, and Sixth Finch and in the anthologies Portrait in Blues, Nepantla, and New Poetry from the Midwest. He is a Candidate for his MFA in Poetry at Ole Miss. show less


Works by Julian Randall

Associated Works

Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood (2021) — Contributor — 175 copies, 4 reviews
Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed: 15 Voices from the Latinx Diaspora (2021) — Contributor — 119 copies, 2 reviews
Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (2018) — Contributor — 93 copies, 2 reviews
The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext (2020) — Contributor — 58 copies


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It is a little early for a twenty eight year old man to write an autobiography. Though his writing is good the book lacks the substance old an older person's life experience. Much of this book is written about television shows, movies and song lyrics that had meaning to Randall. Awarded for some of his poetry this books spends time of his bouts of depression and experiences in Mississippi trying to unearth his family heritage. The book is somewhat shallow questing to be more profound than it is.
muddyboy | Jun 9, 2024 |
A great MG Read that explores and introduces Dominican myths and legends. I love reading and learning about more myths and legends from around the world. Pilar's cousin, Natasha, disappeared many years ago from the Dominican Republic, and when Pilar hears that her sister's professor studies disappearances, Pilar goes to talk with the professor about the disappearance of her cousin.
In the professor's office, Pilar opens a folder with her cousin's name on it and gets sucked in, and comes out in a place called Zafa. On this island of Zafa Pilar finds that her cousin is trapped in a magical prison and she has to go up against the Dominican boogeyman to try to get her cousin freed.
I enjoyed this story a lot and am always one to love an MG read with Mythology in it from around the world. It's always interesting and great to see a different side of the world, life, culture, and mythologies and I enjoyed this one a lot. If you like Dominican Myths and Legends, MG reads, and portal fantasy adventures then I'd recommend checking this one out. It is a bit different with the bilingualism, but I can see how it would be great for others though and I did understand it as I know Spanish.
Thanks to NetGalley and MacMillan Children's Publishing Group/Henry Holt and Co. for letting me read and review this fun MG read. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Kiaya40 | Jun 19, 2023 |
"I understood a little better why Mami's rhythm never seemed all the way right in America, why she could love this place I'd never seen as fiercely as I love Chicago. There are different magics to these lands, and maybe there's nothing worse than being separated from the magic you love best."

Pilar Ramirez and the Curse of San Zenon by Julian Randall was a magical tale filled with magic, monsters, family, and Dominican history. It was fast paced and jumped right into the action from the start. I loved how it tackled Dominican history, especially the era of Trujillo and it was full of Dominican folklore. I love a good ciguapa and cucitos story and this one did not disappoint.

This was also an ode to Dominican revolutionaries. I caught the subtle nod to the Mirabal sisters aka The Mariposas and the celebration of Dominican women as community leaders and keepers of the history. It was a reminder that love of family keeps the homeland alive in the heart. It also explains why immigrant communities will always be tethered to their native soils. It was also nice to see Pilar, a middle schooler recognize how tourism can mirror colonialism I. The ways that it erases people and their histories with oppression. I was extra happy to see the Afro-Latinx representation. The gorgeous cover made me smile.

Even though this was the second book in the series, it is easy to follow and never gets confusing. If you love Latinx stories that are full of fantasy, family and folklore, here are some recommendations to read after this series:
🧿 Sal & Gabby Break the Universe series- Carlos Hernandez
🧿 The Storm Runner series- J.C. Cervantes
🧿 Charlie Hernandez Mythic Collection series- Ryan Calejo
🧿 The Witchlings series- Claribel Ortega

Thanks to @henryholt and @hearourvoices for the gifted copy and opportunity to be on tour for this one. Julian Randall is an author I'm excited to read more from in the future. I hope to see this series in more classrooms and libraries soon.
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Booklover217 | Feb 26, 2023 |


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