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Upstate, by Kalisha Buckhanon

(Image credit:

Buckhanon, Kalisha. Upstate. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2005. Print.

Annotation: Ten years of correspondence tie two young people together, in and out of prison, college, and love.


“Baby, the first thing I gotta know from you is do you believe I killed my father? I need to know if you believe what everybody saying about me because I need to know if you got my back.”
Antonio is in jail, and Natasha writes to him from her home in the Harlem projects. Their young love is strong, but 10 years is a long time. The whole world is opening up for Natasha, but it has to close in on Antonio before he can see the world open before him.

What really happened that night that Antonio’s father died? And where will ten years take Antonio and Natasha?



ALA Alex Award

Hurston/Wright Legacy Award


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