We Slay Book Club January Pick

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 

Henrietta Lacks has been dead for more than 50 years but her cells have lived on and helped millions of people. She was a young black woman living in Baltimore when she went to the doctor and was diagnosed with cervical cancer. From there, she unknowingly becomes a tissue donor and the doctors working with her cancerous cells discover that they do not die. They just kept growing and growing. They were renamed HeLa.

The book follows Skloot as she goes on a long journey to discover exactly who Henrietta was and why the science world didn’t really know or acknowledge her existence. She meets Deborah, Henrietta’s daughter, who was always curious about her mother and is determined for her mother to be recognized. 

I’m late with reading this popular nonfiction book but it was well worth the wait. It was amazing to listen to. The voice actor does a great job of keeping the reader interested, even during the scientific chapters. The heart of the book is the human interest aspect. Following the Lacks’ family was both uplifting and heartbreaking. Skloot doesn’t try to paint them in any light; she just speaks their truth as best she can. The ending hurt to read. Hearing about Deborah’s passing was a punch to the gut. But when she moved on, she was at peace with her mother’s legacy and with herself. I know she would have loved this book.


For the Love of Money by Omar Tyree

FTLOM follows a now 28 year old Tracey Ellison, still Flyy , still a go-getter, still a lo to learn. I remember loving this book when it first came out in 2000, I was fresh out of high school and thought I was grown as shit and this continuation of FlyyGirl was everythang!! Now that I am older and no longer feeling myself some parts of the book made me cringe and say girl wha? If I am looking at it through my high school rosy glasses, I would be all for a Victor/Tracey reunion because true love and all that jazz, but now I am yelling at Tracey to consider it a blessing and move on with yo life! It was nice to go back and hang with Tracey and follow her on her journey to grown womanhood and cringe with her when she is clearly making the wrong decision. This trilogy will always have a place in my heart,


Kelly Burden

Hi! I am a Children's Librarian in Baltimore, Maryland.