Books in the Hood Review
The Empress' New Hair by SF Hardy
April 26, 2018
Normally, what stories are told out of the city of Detroit? Action, suspense, and crime normally cross my eyes when browsing local bookstores. The Empress' New Hair is something that defies the norm. Detroit native, author, and librarian Stephanie Fazekas Hardy created the first fairy tale that takes place in the city. Stephanie goes by the pen name SF Hardy.
Empress Zaina Niara of Detroit is confused. Her highness doesn't know what to do with her hair. How can an empress rule an entire empire when she can't even get her curls in cheek? With fear that her people will ridicule her, Empress Zaina consults her magic mirror.
The magic mirror reminds her of the golden rules her Mother and Auntie instilled in her. To embrace her hair, and not to spend too much time fretting on it when the universe offers deeper concerns. Her Excellency acknowledged the advice as a fact. But that didn't stop her from trying out a handful of new hairstyles.
Braids, sisterlocks, short and long hair are just a few styles put to the test. Each having their own strengths and weaknesses. The trial and error drove the Empress to the end of her wits. A duo of sketchy beauticians approach her with a proposition. But are quickly chased away by Zaina's Mother and Auntie, who smell the trouble. Empress Zaina is warned not to let the crooks near her head.
The wise warning was not heeded seriously. Empress Zania schedules an appointment with the beauticians. Which quickly turns into her being finessed out of her hair. All of it. The Empress is left with a shiny bald head, leaving some of the children of the kingdom to question the change.
Empress Zania wakes up with a head full of hair, realizing it was all a bad dream. This revelation leaves her with a fresh, and appreciative lease on life. Empress Zania finally accepts her hair for all the styles it may provide, and all the maintenance it must take.
SF Hardy is a well written Author who has a lot of content for readers, both young and old. Her next children's book is titled, The Selfish Boy Who Shared. Her goal is to promote literature that will shape and nurture the qualities and characteristics of young minds. Her next piece will be very different.
Jones - How long have you been writing?
SF Hardy - Since I was old enough to hold a pen! I used writing to express myself when I wasn't comfortable expressing my thoughts verbally. In middle school my poems speaking out against the violence in the city were selected to be published. I still have those books.
Jones - What sparked the inspiration for this story.
Sf Hardy - It's loosely based on my life, I was driving one day and the idea just hit me. I pulled from experiences growing up in a salon and struggles with my own hair. It was nothing I had to do research on because I've lived it.
Jones - Do you also relate to the Empress' tragedy?
SF Hardy – No, but I like to wear my hair short! Before the book came out, a close relative was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She lost her hair due to the chemotherapy. I shaved my head to show solidarity. I received some flack, but I didn't care! I loved it!
Jones - What's the meaning behind Empress' name?
SF Hardy - It's a combination of African names that translate to beautiful daughter.
Jones - Who is this book for?
SF Hardy - Children Pre K to fourth grade, but it's really for everybody. There's a quote that says, "If you want adults to learn something, write it for children." A Lot of us aren't comfortable in the hair and skin we're in and go through great lengths to change it. It's all about embracing self.