Born Blue Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Born Blue

Jaine, but she really like to be called Leshaya is a young lady with a big dream to become a famous singer like Etta James. At early age Leshaya was in revolving foster homes and a daughter of a herion addict, while in one foster home she meet a young man name hermon that soon became her friend. Threw her hardship she soon get the courage and strength to break away from her past. During her journey to become a famous singer she meets up with the crowd, Leshaya ends up following in her mother foot steps and becoming a herion addict herself. she also expericence her unwonted pregnacy of her mixed daughter.
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The review of this Book prepared by Debra Lee

In Born Blue, Janie struggles to fulfill dreams in a world that offers nothing but a heart-rending string of hardships. Janie's birth mother, Mama Linda, is a heroin addict. After nearly drowning at the age of four due to Mama Linda's negligence, Janie is placed in a foster home near Mobile, Alabama. Janie's foster parents, Patsy and Pete, are light with love and kindness but heavy with the strap. For refuge, Janie has a best friend in her music-loving foster brother, Harmon, and an almost-mother in a church-going social worker named Doris. Harmon and Doris are African-American; although Janie is blue-eyed and fair-haired, these early friendships cause her to adapt the mannerisms and lingual components of Black culture as her own.

Harmon and Janie lose themselves in the recordings of female blues/jazz artists like Etta James and Billie Holiday. Soon after, on a Sunday outing to a gospel church, Janie learns that the only thing happier than hearing a song is singing one. When Harmon is adopted, singing becomes Janie's passion, her only constant companion in a chaotic world.   

When Janie is 7, Mama Linda kidnaps her. Janie is smuggled away to Birmingham with a drug-dealing couple, Mitch and Shell; in exchange for their new “daughter,” Mitch provides Mama Linda with hits of heroin as needed. In Birmingham, Janie christens herself Leshaya. 5 year later, a chance encounter in a shopping mall reunites Leshaya with Harmon. Leshaya steals a wad of cash from Mitch and runs away to Tuscaloosa, where she is taken in by Harmon and his adoptive parents, Mr. and Mrs. James. Unfortunately, Leshaya's tumultuous childhood has made it difficult for her to love others and allow them to love her, and she fails to feel at home in a “normal” family. Instead, Leshaya takes up with a local jazz band and falls in love with the band's 18-year-old songwriter, Jaz. They run away to the legendary Muscle Shoals, a town Etta James is said to record in, and a group of older musicians invite Jaz and Leshaya to a jam session. Under the giddy influence of beer and cocaine, Leshaya loses her virginity to a man she can never identify for certain. The cops catch up with Jaz and Leshaya, whisking them back to Tuscaloosa, where Leshaya attempts to seduce Harmon. The following day, she is packed off to the backcountry foster home of Joy Victoria. 9 months later, 13-year-young Leshaya gives birth to a baby girl named Etta Harmony. She convinces herself—and the James family—that Harmon is Etta's father, and smuggles the baby back to Tuscaloosa.

Leshaya runs away again, and eventually is discovered by a producer who offers her an opportunity to record a real album. She lives with a serious guitarist and songwriter, Paul, who provides food, shelter, and basic lessons in music theory. Things seem to be going well for Leshaya until she breaks Paul's no-drug rule and spends a night partying hard with a drummer named Jed, who dies of an accidental overdose. Janie packs life into a knapsack again, but this time ends up at the beach-house of Mama Linda, who is now dying of AIDS. Humbled by the lessons of her mother's life—and death—Janie sets out for Tuscaloosa with the intention of finding her own daughter and altering history before it can repeat. But when she sees that Etta is already living the life Leshaya has wanted for herself, Leshaya is forced to put her daughter's best interest before her own for the first time in her life. Through this decision, Leshaya finds a new sense of personal identity, and sets out to meet her own future.

The review of this Book prepared by Tracie Amirante

Chapter Analysis of Born Blue

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Black people in America/Europe    -   American South Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   grade school Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   parental abuse Wild kid(s)?    -   runaway! Loving/sexing?    -   bun/oven

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   unemployed    -   musician Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast    -   Deep South Misc setting    -   sewers/subways

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   touching of anatomy    -   impregnation/reproduction Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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