Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Review: Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?

I am very happy to tell you about a wonderful memoir called Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? From the Projects to Prep School by Charlise Lyles. This memoir is about a young girl’s struggle through life. She grew up living in a housing project in Cleveland with her single mother and siblings in the 1960’s and 70’s. This book dives into deep issues such as race, education, and opportunities for a poverty stricken class. Some of the experiences she talks about in this book include race riots, the burning of the Cuyahoga River, marching of the Black Panthers, and a murder which happened right outside of her building in the projects.

Charlise was fortunate to have a mother who would do whatever it took for her children to receive the best. She worked a number of jobs to provide for her family, and took advantage of every program the city of Cleveland had to offer in order for her children to excel. Charlise was accepted into, and received a scholarship to a prep school due to a program called A Better Chance.

Another theme of this book is the relationship, or lack thereof, between Charlise and her father, Charles. He appeared once in the book, though the idea of him was a recurring theme. Charles was an absent father, was unable to find work, and alcoholism was a definite part of his life. However, during the time he spent with Charlise, he showed intellect, a strong desire to read and learn and potential to have become something great. Those traits were the ones that Charlise clung to, developed in herself, and used to achieve great things in her own life.

I highly recommend this book to anyone!! Charlise was able to take all of the challenges that she faced growing up and educate others on the importance of race relations, education and several other issues, which are very poignant in today’s society.

Thank you to Gray & Co. for sending me this memoir and allowing me to read and review it for my blog!!

Read the first chapter online!!


Alleigh said...

Great review! What's next on your review list?

bermudaonion said...

I love books like this. Great review.