– from The Door of No Return
Middle Read Lakeshore 2023 Book
The Door of No Return
“We are each branches of the same tree. It does not matter that we go in different directions. The roots are one."
From the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winning author Kwame Alexander, comes the first book in a searing, breathtaking trilogy that tells the story of a boy, a village, and the epic odyssey of an African family.
In his village in Upper Kwanta, 11-year-old Kofi loves his family, playing oware with his grandfather and swimming in the river Offin. He’s warned though, to never go to the river at night. His brother tells him ”There are things about the water you do not know. “ Like what? Kofi asks. “The beasts.” His brother answers.
One fateful night, the unthinkable happens and in a flash, Kofi’s world turns upside down. Kofi soon ends up in a fight for his life and what happens next will send him on a harrowing journey across land and sea, and away from everything he loves.
This spellbinding novel by the author of The Crossover and Booked will take you on an unforgettable adventure that will open your eyes and break your heart.
About The Author
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, producer and #1 New York Times bestselling author of 39 books, including Why Fathers Cry at Night, An American Story, The Door of No Return, Becoming Muhammad Ali (co-authored with James Patterson), Rebound, which was shortlisted for the prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, and The Undefeated, the National Book Award nominee, Newbery Honor, and Caldecott Medal-winning picture book illustrated by Kadir Nelson.
A regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. In 2018, he opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded. In January 2023, a Kennedy Center-commissioned national tour for young audiences began for Alexander’s musical Acoustic Rooster’s Barnyard Boogie: Starring Indigo Blume, which is based on two of his beloved children’s books, Acoustic Rooster and Indigo Blume.
He is the Executive Producer, Showrunner, and Writer of The Crossover TV series, based on his Newbery-Medal winning novel of the same name, which premiered on Disney+ in April 2023.
“A riveting, not-to-be-missed trilogy opener that will leave readers invested in what is to come.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Kwame Alexander’s writing is at once vivid and simple, lyrical and surgical, expressive and exacting, comforting and cutting. It hypnotizes and sobers, hypnotizes and sobers, in a rhythm as timeless as the talking drum that carries the tales of his people: Kum-PUM PUM! Kum-PUM PUM! I wish this book existed alongside Huckleberry Finn when I was in school. I am glad it exists now!”
— Lupita Nyong’O
“As I read The Door of No Return I kept thinking about how transformative it would have been to have had a book like this when I was young. This novel moves a devastating history beyond the realm of abstraction and fills our imaginations with characters who laugh, cry, love, learn, worry, and wonder. I will be thinking about this book for a long time. Kwame Alexander has given us a gift.”
— Clint Smith
“An unforgettable journey to be treasured and shared across generations.”
— Rick Riordan