"Arjun Alabi and the African Gods": A Novel Approach to Mental Health and Identity
November 26, 2020
2020 BOOK RELEASE — Sponsored by the Glappy Foundation, "Arjun Alabi and the African Gods, Book 1" emerges as a compelling narrative, weaving together themes of mental health, identity, and cultural mythology. Authored by Russell Avre, this novel is more than just a story; it's an educational tool aimed at helping teens navigate the complexities of mental illness and self-discovery.
The Journey of Arjun Alabi
Set against the backdrop of Godzero, the novel introduces readers to Arjun Alabi, a 13-year-old biracial (Indian and Nigerian) math prodigy. Despite his extraordinary intellect, Arjun's life is marred by bullying due to his mixed heritage. His struggles are compounded by a severe mental illness diagnosis, adding layers of complexity to his adolescent journey.
A Blend of Myth and Reality
Arjun's story takes a fantastical turn when he begins receiving mathematical theorems in his dreams from the Indian goddess Namagiri. The narrative deepens with the introduction of Shango, the Nigerian thunder god, who tasks Arjun with an unimaginable mission. This blend of Indian and African mythology provides a rich, cultural tapestry that serves as the backdrop for Arjun's journey.
The Power of Understanding
A significant turning point in the story is Arjun's encounter with Juwan, a friendly psychiatrist who is also revealed to be a demi-god. Juwan helps Arjun understand that his mental illness is not a weakness but a unique strength, stemming from his divine heritage. This message is pivotal, offering a positive perspective on mental health challenges.
A Quest for Survival
The plot thickens as Arjun learns of a malevolent god hunting down god-children like himself. Teaming up with Juwan, Arjun embarks on a perilous journey to confront this threat. This adventure is not just about survival but also about saving others who share their unique heritage.
Educational and Inspirational
"Arjun Alabi and the African Gods" is more than a fantastical tale; it's a tool for empowerment. By addressing themes of mental health, bullying, and cultural identity, the book provides a source of comfort and understanding for teens facing similar challenges. It's a reminder that one's struggles, whether mental, physical, or societal, can be sources of strength and uniqueness.
A Beacon of Hope
Supported by the Glappy Foundation, this novel is a testament to the power of storytelling in education and mental health advocacy. It underscores the importance of representation and cultural diversity in literature, especially for young audiences.
As the book garners attention and readership, its impact extends beyond the pages, offering hope and guidance to those navigating the often turbulent waters of adolescence. The story of Arjun Alabi is not just a tale of myth and magic; it's a beacon of hope for young individuals struggling to find their place in the world.
You can get the book on Amazon here: