MY NAME IS HARLEM

Book Cover

ACTION DETECTIVE DRAMA FAMILY RELIGIOUS CHILDREN'S YOUNG ADULT ADVENTURE SUSPENSE/THRILLER

1940s & '50s,1960s & '70s

MARY WAGNER

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Logline

Harlem Rose O'Brannan is a biracial child, being raised by a single mother in Bronx, New York in the 1950's. Harlem's mother's aspirations for her and her child to leave the crime and violence of the city is cut short. Harlem's life takes a huge turn when an unforeseeable event changes her life.

Genre

Action,Detective,Drama,Family,Religious,Children's,Young Adult,Adventure,Suspense/Thriller

Short Summary

Harlem's mother is calling her to get up to school for her first day at St. Anthony's Catholic School in Bronx. Her neighbor, Doris questions her as to why she wants Harlem to attend an all white Catholic School. The answer is plain and simple- Harlem will be a doctor one day


The year is 1974, graduation night at West Virginia Medical College. Harlem is on stage to receive her medical degree. She reflects upon her life from Bronx until the time she met her Grandfather the day the bus pulled into Kolter and memories of Sister Delores, Office Lopez and Mr. Abermann.

Setting

Bronx, New York and the fictional town of Kolter, West Virginia

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Harlem Rose O'Brannan

Age: 8

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Aggressive,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Obedient,Religious,Selfless,Skillful,Funny,Educated,Honorable,Strong Moral Code,Underdog

Additional Character Details

Name: Sister Delores

Age: 40's

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Religious,Obedient,Selfless,Outspoken,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Brady O'Brannan

Age: 40's

Gender: Male

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Honorable,Masculine,Selfless,Skillful,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

Harlem Rose O'Brannan is a biracial child being raised by a single mother in Bronx, New York in the 1950's. The ideas instilled in Harlem by her mother were to get a good education, work hard for what you want in life, to be an honest person and to be proud of who you are. Above all else, her mother never wanted her to give up her dream of becoming a doctor. Harlem prayed for her and her mother to be able to leave the projects one day and to be away from the gang violence and random shootings. Harlem's prayer got answered, but it wasn't the answer she prayed for. She did leave the projects, but without her mother. But because of the compassion and acceptance of a nun and a New York City Police Officer, she was saved and escaped the foster care system. Harlem's grandfather, whom neither she nor he ever knew each other even existed, was later found. Harlem went to live with her grandfather in Kolter, West Virginia. There were several challenges for her to face in this segregated town, but she accepted them with dignity and self-respect.

About The Author

I am a retired seventy-three year old woman who just loves to write - especially about people from the Appalachian Mountains. My stories are fiction and my characters are real in my mind. I have visited the mountains since I was a fifteen year old girl. My sister moved to the Appalachian Mountains almost fifty years ago. I got to meet so many fine people and my writing takes a glance at some of their lives. These people were poor but proud people. My heart and my mind are in every character in my books. I even feel that I would really like to meet my characters one day even though they were characters made up in my mind..

Target Audiences

Age: 7-12,13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Female Leaning,Male Leaning

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Creatspace- Mary Wagner

Year Published: 2013

Hard Copy Available

No

ISBN

ISBN 13:9781490415420

Genre

DRAMA, SUSPENSE, ROMANCE

Brief

In the 1950s, Harlem becomes an orphan when her mother is killed by mistake in a gang confrontation. She has to stay with a grandfather she didn't even know existed. They rapidly bond, and since she has black heritage, he helps her to enroll in a segregated school and to fight against prejudice in a conservative little town. Together, they overcome a deadly challenge and live a happy life, with Harlem ending up a doctor, as her mother always dreamed her to be.

Overall Rating

GOOD

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: EXCELLENT

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, it does depict the book properly.

Draw of Story

The fact that it is a story about a courageous and intelligent young child having to deal with racism and prejudice so early in her life.

Possible Drawbacks

Sometimes the characters are portrayed under an exaggeratedly Manichean light, with villains that feel like caricatures. Maybe the characters could have some more depth to them, even the evil ones.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

Themes of prejudice based on race and weight, the story of an old man who finds love again, and the main narrative about a child that loses one family, but ends up finding another of her choice.

Fanbase Potential

Possibly, since it's a very dramatic and engaging book.

Awards Potential

It could, if the character development is a little further explored.

Envisioned Budget

MEDIUM BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

IT REMINDED ME OF THE MOVIE KRAMER VS. KRAMER, IN THE SENSE THAT A CHILD AND AN ADULT MAN HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO DEVELOP A WORKING PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIP IN THE ABSENCE OF THE MOTHER, AND ALSO THE FILM THE HATE U GIVE, IN WHICH A YOUNG BLACK WOMAN HAS TO DEAL WITH RACISM AND PREJUDICE ISSUES.

What’s New About the Story

The originality comes from the protagonist's profile, a young black child that is so fearless and fierce that she ends up reverting the prejudice with which she is received as she arrives in her new town. In order for the story to become more unique, it would be necessary to further develop some supporting characters' traits and eliminate some clichés.

Lead Characters

The young girl Harlem is brave, highly intelligent and determined. Her grandfather Brady has a very good heart, even if he seems a little rough on the outside. He was also scarred by the loss of his former wife and kid, and he was given another opportunity to have a family.

Uniqueness of Story

Not yet, due to some clichés and common places, which could be improved in a revision of the material.

Possible Formats

Film - Streaming, Film - Indie

Analyst Recommendation

CONSIDER

Justification

Because it is a book with a lot of heart, and it is well written, with an appeal for the general public looking for a heart-warming story. It also deals with important issues such as racism, prejudice and family. Some of the changes that might be necessary for the possible adaptation, as mentioned before, are the further development of some secondary characters, especially the two main antagonists, that sometimes feel too one-dimensioned. Some dialogue and actions could also be a little more subtle, so that the story and the racism suffered by the protagonist could feel even more realistic and, therefore, more believable.