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F R I D A Y

After emigrating from Jamaica to the Bronx and demonstrating writing talent in a sixth-grade class, then-12-year-old Latoya Hunter was commissioned to keep a journal. While the publishers looking over her shoulder certainly encouraged introspection, The Diary of Latoya Hunter: My First Year in Junior High is for the most part an optimistic chronicle of crushes, parties, anxiety about appearance, and religious faith. It’s also an articulate, understated look at the ways that inner-city kids adapt to unavoidable dangers. Hunter, now 15 and living in Mount Vernon, N.Y., reads at 10 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW. FREE. (202) 727-5535. (Nathalie op de Beeck)