Maritza Moulite’s lifelong passion for language and story have led to this momentous month. On Jan. 5, just before starting her second semester as a Penn Graduate School of Education (GSE) doctoral student, Moulite’s second young adult novel “One of the Good Ones” was published to rave reviews. Co-written with her sister Maika, the book explores personal growth and change amid a greater struggle for social justice.
Now as a first-generation Haitian-American author, Moulite is paving the way for a new generation of young readers to see themselves reflected in books. As an emerging scholar in Penn GSE’s Reading, Writing, and Literacy program, she’s understanding how children learn to read—and the social implications of being labeled “at risk.”
Growing up, Moulite was constantly checking out books from the library because her parents wouldn’t let her watch TV during the week.
“I read a lot but the books I read weren’t diverse,” she reflects. “Sometimes I felt compelled to write, but I didn’t think that it was possible for me to be the kind of author I wanted to be.”
“One of the Good Ones” explores the aftermath of the death of social justice activist Kezi from the perspective of her sisters Happi and Genny, who go on a journey using a copy of “The Negro Motorist Green Book” to honor their sister. “We think it will leave you shook and wondering what it really means to be an ally,” says Moulite.
Read more at Penn GSE.