This is the first year 8th grade in my district is doing lit circles, at least since I have been here. They had 5 books to choose from and I had already read 1 and read the rest over the summer. Despite my love of Pride and Prejudice this was the book I hadn’t got to yet and I finished it right before lit circles started. Pride is modern retelling (or remix as the cover states) of Pride and Prejudice by Ibi Zoboi that puts the topics of class differences and gentrification front and center.
Zuri is the second oldest of 5 sisters who lives with Haitian mother and Dominican father in the area of Bushwick in Brooklyn. She is proud of her heritage and neighborhood, wanting to go to college and return back. Gentrification is coming to Bushwick however and it soon comes even closer to home when the Darcy family moves in across the street. Since I am sure many people reading this are familiar with Pride and Prejudice I won’t go into too many more details.
I am a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice which made this book enjoyable for me, it was interesting to see how different characters and plot elements were changed to fit the modern setting. However you don’t need to be a fan to enjoy this book. The students who read it enjoyed it and found many items relate able, even though they are reading it in an urban Iowa classroom. It also teaches a lesson about the impact of gentrification, which my co-teacher and I spent some time prepping the kids for.
If you enjoy retellings of classic tales, Pride and Prejudice, or Jacqueline Woodson this would be a great book for you. Since I used this book in a classroom I also found some great resources I would recommend. Specifically Ibi Zooboi’s tour of Bushwick video on YouTube.