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Karen English Books In Order

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Publication Order of Nikki and Deja Books

Nikki and Deja (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Birthday Blues (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Newsy News Newsletter (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Election Madness (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wedding Drama (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Substitute Trouble (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Carver Chronicles Books

Dog Days (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skateboard Party (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Don't Feed the Geckos! (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trouble Next Door (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The New Kid (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pizza Party (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Strawberry Moon (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Francie (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
It All Comes Down to This (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Picture Books

Neeny Coming, Neeny Going (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Big Wind Coming! (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Just Right Stew (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nadia's Hands (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Speak English for Us, Marisol! (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hot Day on Abbott Avenue (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Speak to Me (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Baby on the Way (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Steal Away Night (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Red Shoes (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Jackie Robinson (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Karen English is a child fiction author. Her accessible writing, satisfactory storytelling and the inclusion of authentic characters have had her receive several rewards including The Coretta Scott King Award. Karen has served as an elementary school teacher, and this gave her sufficient experience and interactions with children hence the creation of exceptional books. Karen English currently lives in Richmond, southern California.

She has authored a couple of book series including The Nikki and Deja and The Carver Chronicles. Additionally, Karen has written many picture books and standalone novels which all have been a hit. Notably, the author wrote a School Library Journal Best Book of 2004 winner for the book speaks to me.

Nikki and Deja

Niki and Deja by the award-winning author introduce the Niki and Deja series. Laura Freeman illustrates the book. Two African-American girls, Nikki and Deja, have been best friends for a very long time but the coming of a new girl into their lives threatens the friendship.

Niki and Deja are two girls who have always had their lives connected in almost every way. Being next door neighbors, they do almost everything together including, playing jacks, watching morning cartoons on Saturdays, and even jumping double Dutch. Being in grade three together, the two assist each other in tackling Mrs. Shelly’s homework. Everything seemed too perfect together until their actions start driving them apart.

Antonio is a new girl, and the two have been accustomed to a circle of their own implying that her presence is likely to bring complications and it surely does. Deja decides to start a club that will drive them to fame in their school. But the bad thing is that her friend Nikki has no rhythm at all. It is a discouragement for her, and she feels rejected and out of place which creates a rift between the two friends. The girls start having conflicts between themselves and of which they never seem to resolve, until towards the end, as there is a difference in the agendas that each of them wants to address. Competition between the girls causes an ever-continuing antagonism which in the end brings about an almost break of a relationship that was incredible.

Just like in adult life, the author tries to paint a picture of any relationship that exists including the threats and the possible causes of failure. Karen paints the true picture of rejection and also the aspect of conflict resolution. It is a short and sweet story wrapped with grace and heart.

Birthday Blues

The second book in the Nikki and Deja series is Birthday Blues. The two friends, Nikki and Deja, are faced with a huge problem- Deja has a birthday but her auntie, dee is called out on a business trip which could end up running her birthday party plans.

Deja had been anxiously waiting for her birthday, but at the same time, Antonia had an upcoming party on the same day with the intention of ruining that of Deja. A competition has been going on silently between Deja and Antonia, and these occasions are about to make it even worse. When Deja’s auntie goes on a business trip, she fears that she might not have the anxiously awaited party as she goes to live with her elderly neighbor. Antonio, a spoiled girl, has all she needs and could end up taking the day something that makes Deja afraid. The old neighbor she is at has no color Tv, and even the food she prepares is entirely off what Deja expects for a birthday.

The author introduces the reader to the deeper life of Deja who lost her mother and lives with her auntie as she had no father. She tries to give the picture of children who have to grow without the presence of two parents yet in a society that has others who have a “perfect life” with all parents and all they need. Deja is forced to live with the old neighbor, and while there she has to adjust to her life even if it threatens her being outdone by her rival friend. Loyalty is tested between the two best friends with this occasion coming up, and there is a lot to learn on friendship from the same.

Sally gracefully blends different themes in the book to create an outstanding children’s story.

Newsy News

Third in the Nikki and Deja series is the Newsy News. All around their block and at their school, Nikki and Deja are aware that there is a lot that happens and people wait for it to be reported. They decide to take the responsibility of reporting using what they have but will this go as planned?

Both at home and at their school, carver elementary, Nikki and friend Deja are aware of the numerous things that go around. They are also aware that people would like to hear and read of the same- problem being there is no channel to pass this on to them in detail. The two visionary girls decide to use what they have to make sure that people can know what is happening around. Niki has a special pen and a notepad while Deja has access to Auntie Dee’s computer. Using these items, they embark on a journey that sees the birth of Fulton street newsy news.

At first, they gain attention with everyone around wanting to read what the two have posted. But on one occasion they give inaccurate information which threatens their little news outlet. However, it serves as a lesson for them since they learn the essentiality of writing what is write and also being careful about such an issue. The lesson that the two learn is precious especially with the fact that the current society is faced with such issues.
Karen English having spent some years teaching elementary levels is great at creating such stories.

The storyline is simple but weighted with valuable lessons that the reader should borrow. Her writing gives a reflection of what happens in society today though ensuring that it suits the targeted age bracket for her readers.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Karen English

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