(Review-YA) Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon


Buckhanon, Kalisha. Upstate. London: John Murray, 2005. Print.ISBN-13: 978-0312332693. Formats available: hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. Paperback $12.32.

Info 684 Genre: Street-Lit

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17-year-old Antonio finds himself in jail, separated by what might as well be an ocean from his family, his life, and his girlfriend Natasha. Upstate tells Antonio and Natasha’s story through the letters they write to each other while Antonio serves his time. As both their lives take them in unexpected directions, Antonio and Natasha fight for a relationship that is put through incredible tests. This is their love story.

Themes include: Love, relationships, responsibility, coming of age, prison, violence, overcoming expectations

Awards/honors American Library Association ALEX Award, Hurston-Wright Foundation Debut Fiction Award


About the Author: Kalisha Buckhanon currently has two novels out, and a forthcoming 3rd in the spring of 2016. Her works have won several awards and she has taught writing, humanities, and English through PEN American Center’s Prison Writing Program, many inner-city schools, summer arts camps and library initiatives.


  • Locate Upstate at your local library through Worldcat.org
  • Here is an excerpt from the audiobook version of Upstate

Citation & Credits
Book cover image: Courtesy of Amazon.com
Book Talk: Kelsey Bogan. 2015. All rights reserved.
Macmillan Audio. “Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon — Audiobook Excerpt.” Online Video clip. YouTube.com. 12 April 2012. Web. 14 July 2015.

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