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Life is comfortable for 12-year-old T'Challa in his home of Wakanda, an isolated, technologically advanced African nation. When he's not learning how to rule a kingdom from his father - the reigning Black Panther - or testing out the latest tech, he's off breaking rules with his best friend, M'Baku. But as conflict brews near Wakanda, T'Challa's father makes a startling announcement: he's sending T'Challa and M'Baku to school in America.
This is no prestigious private academy - they've been enrolled at South Side Middle School in the heart of Chicago. Despite being given a high-tech suit and a Vibranium ring to use only in case of an emergency, T'Challa realizes he might not be as equipped to handle life in America as he thought. Especially when it comes to navigating new friendships while hiding his true identity as the prince of a powerful nation, and avoiding Gemini Jones, a menacing classmate who is rumored to be involved in dark magic.
When strange things begin happening around school, T'Challa sets out to uncover the source. But what he discovers in the process is far more sinister than he could ever have imagined. In order to protect his friends and stop an ancient evil, T'Challa must take on the mantle of a hero, setting him on the path to becoming the Black Panther.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Wayne Edward Evans on 01-15-18
Coming to America meets Harry Potter
Would you consider the audio edition of Black Panther to be better than the print version?
Yes, I would. The reader's performance was wonderful and really made the story pop! Both my son and I enjoyed it very much.
What did you like best about this story?
It was a new take on an old hero. Meeting the hero in childhood gives us insight into the experiences that will make him the character we know and love. I also love the fact that his father is VERY active and present in the story. I also like that there is a friend of T'Challa's father helping him along the way. A son being shaped by his father's presence instead of his absence.
Have you listened to any of Dion Graham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This is the first time I have enjoyed Dion Graham, but he was great.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
T'Challa's conversations with his father and his father's "friend" (no spoilers). Again, it's wonderful to see a young black boy being shaped by his father and other male figures as the adventure of his life unfolds.
Any additional comments?
I really and truly hope that this is the first in a series of books about T'Challa when he was a boy. If Harry Potter can gets 7 books, I am sure there is room on the shelves for our young prince! Ashe.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By R. S. Silverman on 02-23-18
Dion Graham ranks right up there with Casaundra Freeman and Robin Miles as favorite narrators. Different voice for every character, and each voice was distinctively the right voice to be associated with that character, in a way that made them much more than words on the page.
My 12-year-old kiddo wasn't particularly interested in this book for our long road trip, but I’ve been listening to it on the car since Monday. Had 30 minutes left when I went to see the Black Panther movie Wednesday night with my husband.
In this book, T’Chaka sends 12-year-olds T’Challa and M’Kabe to the South Side of Chicago when Kilauea attacks. Based on US technology, I’d say... 2005? at the latest.
I doubt it’s movie canon given that young Hunter shows up in Wakanda and M’Kabe’s father is a member of the Wakanda court. And Shuri is never mentioned. But I'd really like it to be canon.
I really WANT it to be canon, though. The named characters at the middle school are all Black, and a friend’s grandmother tells “T. Charles” that when she went there, it was named The Academy for Colored Children.
“You can’t say that, Grandmama!”
“That was the BEST thing they called us back then.”
I think that if I hadn’t gone to a city high school (what’s now called LaGuardia Arts, in NYC) where the cool kids were Black, most of the idiom would have gone right over my head. I recognized every character... and that was important, because the book never once talks about racism and history directly, just allusions here and there. T’Challa has to give up on his privilege. The French teacher doesn’t expect her students to pay attention. And the “villain” of the piece is a man trying to recapture the power of the voudoun. It’s about living in the South Side and being assumed to be dirt by everyone around you. And T’Challa almost, but not quite, falls into the trap of thinking all American Black kids are disrespectful and disinterested and apathetic. The kid that’s both cool and smart is a criminal.
T'Challa is only there for two months, but I'd like to think that the inner-city perspective informs his good decisions at the end of the movie.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful