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Paperback When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune Book

ISBN: 0689845936

ISBN13: 9780689845932

When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune

(Book #1 in the Shayla Dubois Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

So I just made another note to add to my blue notebook later, when the house had cooled off: Tia's nature is boiling out of her like hot soup out of a pot, and Kambia Elaine just flew in from Neptune.
Shayla Dubois lives in a Houston neighborhood known as the Bottom, where life is colorful but never easy. She wants only two things out of life: to become a writer and to have a nice, peaceful home. Instead, her life has been turned...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Hardley Freshman

I was a freshman in high school when I read this book. I first heard about it in a review (Seventeen magazine) so when I saw it at the local library, I decided to check it out. I didn't really have any background information on the book - all I could remember was it's glossy and catchy cover. I picked it up and decided to give it a try. As soon as I began reading it, I was drawn into Shayla & Kambia's world. Williams' words are so well chosen and so real that you don't have a choice - you're automatically sucked in. This book is pretty easy reading and a great story so I strongly suggest you check it out!

What a debut!

When Kambia Elaine Flew in From Neptune is by far one of the best YA novels I've read in a long time. It's hard to believe this is the author's first book. Lori Aurelia Williams writes with the confidence of a seasoned novelist and has an amazing talent for putting the confusion of adolescence into words. She handles some fairly touchy topics (teen sexuality, child abuse, prostitution) with grace and sensitivity but always head-on and with incredible honesty. Readers will be drawn into the lives of Shayla, her family, and her enigmatic neighbor Kambia Elaine from the very first page. I highly recommend this book for both teens and adults alike. Because of some sensitive subject matter, parents of younger readers may need to decide whether their children are ready for a look at these issues. If in doubt, why not read When Kambia Elaine Flew in From Neptune with your teen - it's a great way to broach some otherwise difficult (but necessary) conversations.


It's seldom that a story bridges the ever widening generation gap, but "When Kambia Elaine Flew In From Neptune" surely does. This chronicle of love and friendship will appeal to both teenagers and adults, especially in its unabridged audio form affectingly read by Heather Alicia Simms. The author has said that she grew up poor in a neighborhood where children were "seen but not heard," so does her protagonist, Shayla Dubois who lives with her fractured family in other side of the tracks Houston, Texas. Shayla's sister has been ousted for carrying on with an older man, and her absent father has suddenly returned to town. To complicate matters further, Shayla has a unique new neighbor - Kambia who tells absurd tales about Lizard People who turn into purple chewing gum, reports that she is a piece of driftwood from the Mississippi River, and more. Shayla well knows that something is amiss, but what can she possibly do? Heather Alicia Simms's performance is in perfect harmony with the author's use of African-American lore and street patois.

When Kambia Elaine Flew In From Neptune

I LOVED this book. Lori was sensitive, imaginative and completely entertaining in her depiction of Shayla, Kambia and my favorite Mr. Anderson Fox. I have encouraged people to read it since I left the book sigining. It is a beautifully told story of family, friendship, inagination, life and heartache. Everyone should read it, the book contains elements for everyone. Well done Lori! I can't wait for the sequel!

An affecting novel about growing up.

When KAMBIA ELAINE FLEW IN FROM NEPTUNE should be required reading for anyone who aims to write for the young adult novel market. Lori Aurelia Williams has marvelous control of language, plot pacing, and emotion. I was hooked--once I picked the book up, I couldn't put it down.Which isn't to say that I didn't want to. This book isn't about easy topics, and there are several sub-plots running at one time, which Williams handles skillfully. Shayla, Williams' narrator, speaks with a wise voice, but not so wise for her age that she simply appears to be the plot-device for the author to say what she wants. Shayla has her own mind, and she's a careful observer. She watches the relationship between her mother and her grandmother and their arguments over the old ways; she watches the relationship between Tia and her mother, and Shayla is one of the first to realize that her mother is all wrong about Tia's boyfriend; she observes Kambia Elaine, who, even though she is "weird" is also a true friend who offers Kayla comfort. And Kayla is incredibly wise to the ways of the man who comes into her mother's life, although she isn't able to warn her mother.I found Kayla to be a wonderful lens with which to observe the world in which she lives. And, more importantly, I found Kayla to be a delightful girl who I would have loved to have been friends with when I was a teen.
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