Dancehall Rebel

by Stacey Robinson

A teen shares her dad’s vibrant Caribbean musical legacy but is burdened by the homophobia that comes along with it. She needs to find a new path for the music and for herself.

Dancehall DJ is a groundbreaking novel portraying a Caribbean Canadian teen challenging the ongoing legacy of homophobia in her  musical and cultural community. Dancehall music and culture is undergoing a large shift. This book is a smart and savvy tale of a teen finding the confidence and voice to be an agent of change in her musical culture—and with her family.

Denise is a Toronto teen who was raised on Jamaican dancehall music; her dad is a leading local DJ who has imbued her life with a love of music. Denise has aspirations to follow in her dad’s footsteps, but there’s a problem: Denise identifies as queer, and the music she loves  often reflects homophobia. Her mother and relatives are also not accepting. But when she moves to Ottawa for first year university school, encouraged by a sympathetic cousin, she finds a community of like-minded kids who love and cherish both music and diversity.

This lively true-to-life portrayal of teen lives and relationships puts a very contemporary spin on the cultural conflict often between more traditional families and their young family members.

About the Author

Born in Toronto and guided by her Jamaican heritage, Stacey Robinson is a communications specialist, entertainment enthusiast and music lover. Her studies in communications brought her to Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, where she trained as a journalist before returning home to Scarborough, where she currently resides. Stacey’s creative content highlights contemporary Black Canadian life and Caribbean culture across the Diaspora; she has also produced several literary events and workshops for writers. Stacey enjoys playing the piano and guitar, attending music festivals and concerts, Caribbean carnivals, and supporting independent artists and DJs.


Robinson’s language and descriptions of the dual worlds Denise navigates as a first-generation Canadian are authentic in this work with reluctant reader appeal that explores important themes relating to family, community, and identity… An accessible, realistic cross-cultural coming-of-age novel about seeking a balance between tradition and change.

Kirkus Reviews

Robinson has taken on a big challenge by exploring this conflict and all the emotional nuances her characters are facing.

CM: Review of Materials

Subjects (BISAC)


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