web site hit counter For Black Girls Like Me - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

For Black Girls Like Me

Availability: Ready to download

I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena―the only other adopted black girl she knows―for I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena―the only other adopted black girl she knows―for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend. Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me? Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.


Compare

I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena―the only other adopted black girl she knows―for I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena―the only other adopted black girl she knows―for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend. Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me? Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.

30 review for For Black Girls Like Me

  1. 4 out of 5

    Camryn

    This was... a lot. Trigger warning for attempted suicide.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Arielfranchakyahoo.com

    This is a book that will remain in my heart for a long, long time. Beautifully written, in a variety of formats, BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME, is the story of Keda, an 11-year old African American girl adopted as a baby, by a white family. However, this story not only tackles the feelings Keda has a black girl growing up in a white family, it also addresses racism, mental illness, friendship and family bonds. This story had so many rich layers to it, and although it was heartbreaking at times, it was pow This is a book that will remain in my heart for a long, long time. Beautifully written, in a variety of formats, BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME, is the story of Keda, an 11-year old African American girl adopted as a baby, by a white family. However, this story not only tackles the feelings Keda has a black girl growing up in a white family, it also addresses racism, mental illness, friendship and family bonds. This story had so many rich layers to it, and although it was heartbreaking at times, it was powerful, engaging and beautiful. I loved how the story was told, not only through a narrative and poems, but through letters and blog posts between Keda and her best friend. I also loved how the title of each chapter interacted and connected with the story. This was a book that I seriously couldn’t put down. I stayed up many nights reading way too late because I was completely invested in Keda and needed to find hope for her in the darkness. This story was raw and real. While the ending was not necessarily “happily ever after,” (and it didn’t need to be, by any means) it was honest and hopeful. As a middle school reading specialist, I would highly recommend this book to all middle grade readers and will definitely add this to my classroom library.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lee

    There's lots to appreciate and learn from in this book, around race, racism, microaggressions, and mixed-race families (including the loneliness of a black child in a white family). There's also a brutal lot about life with an undiagnosed bipolar mother. My stars aren't really for how much I "liked" the book, they are for the importance of the book. It's not for every reader, but for the ones who need it, wow. It will mean the world. There's lots to appreciate and learn from in this book, around race, racism, microaggressions, and mixed-race families (including the loneliness of a black child in a white family). There's also a brutal lot about life with an undiagnosed bipolar mother. My stars aren't really for how much I "liked" the book, they are for the importance of the book. It's not for every reader, but for the ones who need it, wow. It will mean the world.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    First thought: why doesn’t this book use commas? This is going to be annoying. Second thought: this is a great story on identity struggles, one that’s probably not often addressed in youth lit. Third thought: wait, now it’s about mental illness, too? Impactful, even if it does seem to divert attention from its initial major “conflict.” But accurate in illustrating that people can have more than one major conflict in life. Fourth thought: stayed up too late on a school night finishing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    Thanks to author Mariama J. Lockington (@forblackgirlslikeme) and @macmillankidsbooks for a free copy of this STUNNING book to share with @kidlitexchange. I will be mailing this to @akossket right away and then it will be shared w/#kidlitexchange. This book isn't out until July 30, but please put it on all your summer pre-orders now. It's perfect for grades 4 - 8 and belongs in each and every elementary and middle school library in America. . ~ ~ 5/5 big GUSHING stars for this beautifully written de Thanks to author Mariama J. Lockington (@forblackgirlslikeme) and @macmillankidsbooks for a free copy of this STUNNING book to share with @kidlitexchange. I will be mailing this to @akossket right away and then it will be shared w/#kidlitexchange. This book isn't out until July 30, but please put it on all your summer pre-orders now. It's perfect for grades 4 - 8 and belongs in each and every elementary and middle school library in America. . ~ ~ 5/5 big GUSHING stars for this beautifully written debut novel. Written in prose, but also poetry, lyrics, letters and Tumblr posts, For Black Girls Like Me tells the story of Keda, a young Black adoptee who is struggling with her identity while also dealing with her mother's worsening mental illness. Short chapters, a compelling narrative and well developed characters make this a quick, compulsive read. I know several students who will devour this book in one or two sittings like I did. And YET -- while this was a quick read, the message and story will be with me for a long time. . ~ ~ Keda's family has moved from Baltimore to Albuquerque for her father's job. Her parents are both accomplished string musicians, but her mother is out of work for now and spends long days in bed. Her white sister, Eve, immediately finds new friends in her new school, but the transition is not as easy for Keda. In her new school, Keda experiences both microaggressions and overt racism (including the N word). When she finds out, her mother tries to help by dramatically removing both daughters from the school. While this may be the correct response, the mother's drama and white tears, her constant insistence on being "colorblind" when Keda knows the world is anything but and her refusal to buy her daughter effective lotion for her skin all add up to a mother who doesn't truly understand her own child. . ~ ~ Keda feels like she doesn't have anyone to turn to for help besides her best friend (and fellow adoptee), Lena, who is now on the other side of the country. Keda and Lena's letters radiate with warmth, humor and love; they are my very favorite part of this book. Their resulting Tumblr, titled Questions I Have For Black Girls Like Me, is an outlet for Keda and her emotions. As Keda's mother's illness worsens and her behavior becomes more erratic, Keda and her sister Eve must work through their differences to support each other and help their mother. Readers will likely appreciate the complicated end of this book; many of the characters have work to do in the future if they are to support each other effectively. No neat happy endings here. . ~ ~ For Black Girls Like Me is a perfect #windowsandmirrors book that offers important insight into the world of a transracial adoption, as well as the reality of living with a mentally ill parent. I can't wait to send it off to #kidlitexchange to get more reviews, especially from some Black reviewers. . ~ ~ #bookstagram #bookreview #forblackgirlslikeme #mgbook #mglit #middlegradebooks #transracialadoption

  6. 4 out of 5

    Akoss

    @Kidlitexchange #partner - I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Releasing 7/30/19 Keda is a Black eleven-year-old girl with a white adoptive family. When her family moves to a different state Keda gets separated from her best friend, the only other Black girl with a white adoptive family she knows. Now she has to dig deep (into her beliefs and emotions) to face the world with the type of ugliness only she experien @Kidlitexchange #partner - I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Releasing 7/30/19 Keda is a Black eleven-year-old girl with a white adoptive family. When her family moves to a different state Keda gets separated from her best friend, the only other Black girl with a white adoptive family she knows. Now she has to dig deep (into her beliefs and emotions) to face the world with the type of ugliness only she experiences because of her skin color. There are so many Black girl truths in this book. I teared up, I laughed, I blushed, I hollered and got angry right along with Keda. Keda's story of coming of age is also one of family emotional ties. The love and patience she has for her family (especially her mom) will make your heart swell. The way the author handles mental illness squeezed my heart. She does it truthfully with the confusion, anger, denial and loss that usually follows a medical diagnosis. Keda's life sounds rough and emotionally draining but I appreciate the relentless presence of hope in the story through Keda's beautiful verses. Things are very messy but definitely not hopeless. This is a book that is sure to spark hours and hours of discussions. I can't wait for July so I can finally talk spoilers with quotes because I. Have. Things. To. Say. Good things of course.

  7. 5 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    2.5 STARS Makeda, the Black adopted daughter of whites parents and a sister Eve, feels out of place in her family. When they move to New Mexico, her blackness becomes more of an issue as does her mom’s mental illness. FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is an important story that is watered down by trying to address too much for the target audiences. Keda is eleven, so most readers will be eleven and younger. Mariama Lockington deals with the subtle and not-so-subtle Keda experiences, as an adoptee and as a B 2.5 STARS Makeda, the Black adopted daughter of whites parents and a sister Eve, feels out of place in her family. When they move to New Mexico, her blackness becomes more of an issue as does her mom’s mental illness. FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is an important story that is watered down by trying to address too much for the target audiences. Keda is eleven, so most readers will be eleven and younger. Mariama Lockington deals with the subtle and not-so-subtle Keda experiences, as an adoptee and as a Black girl realistically, showing the overt and covert messages she receives from racists, silent bystanders and adults who look the other way. The heaviness of the topic slows down the pace too much for the majority of middle grade readers. Teachers reading FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME to students might be the best use of the book. The mental health aspect of the book, Keda’s mother’s unmedicated bipolar disorder, takes over midway through the book and takes the story in a different direction. I’m not sure how much Lockington knows about Bipolar it how much research she did, but I didn’t think it meshed well with the first half of the book. When therapist incorrectly told Eve Bipolar Disorder appears later in life, I was disappointed this misinformation was being given to young readers. Most adults with bipolar disorder will tell you they had symptoms as children, for as long as they can remember even if they never had a full blown manic episode until later in life. Lockington’s mistake is not uncommon, though as a child psychologist I’m a stickler for accurate mental health representation. I wish Lockington had written two books about Makeda, each focusing on one aspect of Makeda’s journey and building upon it. Seeing her family’s growth around racial competency as they navigated the mom’s mental illness would have been a nice segue from Keda’s sixth to seventh grade experiences. I wouldn’t give FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME to most kids, but would recommend it for a classroom book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pernille Ripp

    This is in my top 3 of best books read this year hands down.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily Waller

    Wow. This story is powerful from a perspective I have not read before. Keda is Black, her family is white. As a white reader, it was important for me to read the ways Keda's family failed her by speaking for her or assuming they knew what she was feeling. The best intentions can be hurtful, and I think this book is a great opportunity to open conversations about that with young adults. Superbly written. Highly recommend! Keda is adopted. Her mom, dad, and sister are white, and she is Black. She w Wow. This story is powerful from a perspective I have not read before. Keda is Black, her family is white. As a white reader, it was important for me to read the ways Keda's family failed her by speaking for her or assuming they knew what she was feeling. The best intentions can be hurtful, and I think this book is a great opportunity to open conversations about that with young adults. Superbly written. Highly recommend! Keda is adopted. Her mom, dad, and sister are white, and she is Black. She was adopted from Atlanta, Georgia, but in her life she is made to feel like she is an outsider from another planet. Her family moves to a new state, forcing Keda to leave the life she knew (including her best friend, Lena, the only girl who really understands her). As Keda tries to adapt to her new school, she is met with shocking racism that results in her mom pulling her out of public school. Stuck at home, Keda observes her mom's deteriorating mental health and begins to wonder if she really belongs in this family and what her identity is. The dynamic of family, sisters, mental health, race, identity, and visibility are brought together in such a meaningful way through Keda's story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol Baldwin

    Using free verse poetry and poetic prose, the novel provides powerful insight into eleven-year-old Makeda June Kirkland's reality. Readers are immersed into the life of a girl whose hippie mother named her after an Ethiopian girl who died in a famine. Makeda's response: "I like Keda for short. I am not a dead girl." (p. 8) The book opens with Keda, her older sister Eve, and her used-to-be-concert-violinist mother driving across country to New Mexico to meet their father who has taken a job as the Using free verse poetry and poetic prose, the novel provides powerful insight into eleven-year-old Makeda June Kirkland's reality. Readers are immersed into the life of a girl whose hippie mother named her after an Ethiopian girl who died in a famine. Makeda's response: "I like Keda for short. I am not a dead girl." (p. 8) The book opens with Keda, her older sister Eve, and her used-to-be-concert-violinist mother driving across country to New Mexico to meet their father who has taken a job as the principal cellist in the New Mexico Symphony. "Mama is up front with one hand on the wheel. Her violin in the passenger seat. The neck tipped down like a bottle being emptied into the seat." (p.3) This image poetically foreshadows Mrs. Kirkland's battles. Music, according to their father, is their legacy. Forced to play piano, but loving singing more, Keda wonders if she sounds like gibberish when she sings since her father outlaws the gibberish of rap, hip-hop, and R and B. Keda's constant question is, "Where do I belong?" I love Ella and Billie Holiday and oh I just can't get enough of Nina Simone. These women sing and I feel like they are talking to me. Like we are speaking the same language. Like they know what it is to feel loved and lonely all at the same time. (p. 18) Although Keda realizes her parents love her, that knowledge doesn't stop her from wondering about her birth mother. "Even though these days I can't help feeling like I'll never be whole. That somewhere out there is a woman with my face. Another mother. Missing me the way I miss her." (p. 33) Keda's voice is in the songs she makes up. .... I try to imitate different instruments with the sound of my voice. I don't sing any real words. I just open myself to the sounds and sing what I feel. I close my eyes and sway back and forth. I like to think about notes as colors and shapes. I like to swish the notes around in my mouth. Taste them on my tongue. Then I try to fill the whole world with my breath. With my sound. In Albuquerque, Keda misses her best friend Lena (who is Haitian and was adopted by a white family) and has problems at her new school. Although Keda is used to people staring at her parents and then at her, trying to figure out where she came from, this time it is particularly painful. A teacher assumes she is from Africa, a fellow sixth grader calls her the N-word, and Keda's fragile new world breaks apart. A brief stint of homeschooling is followed by a disastrous summer. Her father goes on tour, her mother pulls away from the girls and into her own world, and Keda stops hearing from Lena. In a manic turn of events, her mother suddenly decides to take the girls on a trip to Colorado which ends in her attempted suicide--for which Keda blames herself. The end of the book is a symphony of clashes between the sisters that climax with new empathy and forgiveness. The ways in which the family pulls together after Mrs. Kirkland's hospitalization are painful, tentative, and yet authentic. I loved one of the final scenes when Keda's mother's violin-playing invades Keda's dream--and she realizes that it's not a dream. After her mother ends her impromptu concert, the two speak honestly about her mother's mental illness and her mother suggests that Keda take formal voice lessons. That night Keda sleeps better than she has in months. In the morning her fantasy friends who she calls the Georgia Belles, sing their last song to her ending with: Peachy girl You are ripe You are Your own magic You don't need us to be free All you need is a song Diddlee-do-ee So I fling my blinds open, I open my mouth. I smear my ripe voice all over the morning. And let it ring. (p. 316)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Richelle Robinson

    “I received a review copy from Amazon Vine and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review.” This is a very important coming of age story that will stay with me for a long time. This story is about Makeda aka Keda who is black, 11 years old and adopted. Her adoptive family is white. This story touches on Keda trying to find her identity, her struggles to fit in and her longing to know about her birth mother. My heart broke for K “I received a review copy from Amazon Vine and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review.” This is a very important coming of age story that will stay with me for a long time. This story is about Makeda aka Keda who is black, 11 years old and adopted. Her adoptive family is white. This story touches on Keda trying to find her identity, her struggles to fit in and her longing to know about her birth mother. My heart broke for Keda in this story because she was forced to move away from her best friend, Lena, who is the only other black girl like her as well. Reading this story was tough at times because I really wanted to shake some sense into Keda’s mother. I get that she didn’t see color but at the end of the day Keda is black. Things are different for us. Point blank. Our hair is different. Our skin is different. I can go on and on. I felt like she was trying so hard to make Keda feel she wasn’t different but she wasn’t LISTENING to Keda’s feelings especially after certain things Keda endured at her new school. The story is written in a poetry style format which isn’t my favorite but it did hold my interest and I’m glad I stuck with the story. It wasn’t an easy read and there was a lot going on at times but it was still a very important and powerful read nonetheless. Trigger warning: Suicide attempt.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh Rose

    4.5 stars :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tori Glass

    This book is easily in my top 5 of 2019! Makeda is an 11 year old girl who has always wondered how she fits into her family. Being adopted and black when the rest of her family is white, she often struggles to find her place. When Makeda’s family moves away from her only friend who completely understands her, Makeda feels like her world is crumbling. This coming of age story follows Makeda as she faces discrimination, making new friends (and keeping up with old ones), and finding herself and her This book is easily in my top 5 of 2019! Makeda is an 11 year old girl who has always wondered how she fits into her family. Being adopted and black when the rest of her family is white, she often struggles to find her place. When Makeda’s family moves away from her only friend who completely understands her, Makeda feels like her world is crumbling. This coming of age story follows Makeda as she faces discrimination, making new friends (and keeping up with old ones), and finding herself and her place among her family. This is a must have for all middle school classrooms & libraries!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Stinson

    This book is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I finished it with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart. Lockington's writing is gorgeous. There were so many moments of beautiful imagery. Countless lines I stopped to read twice. The poetry in the book is lovely, and the letters between Keda and her best friend were one of my favorite parts. They were vibrant with humor and truth and a love you could feel. Keda's voice sings through these pages. It drew me in from the first line and wrapped me up This book is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I finished it with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart. Lockington's writing is gorgeous. There were so many moments of beautiful imagery. Countless lines I stopped to read twice. The poetry in the book is lovely, and the letters between Keda and her best friend were one of my favorite parts. They were vibrant with humor and truth and a love you could feel. Keda's voice sings through these pages. It drew me in from the first line and wrapped me up in her world. She is an unforgettable character. Kind and clever and brave. She is also incredibly resilient- something she proves throughout the course of the story as more is piled on her young shoulders. The story starts at a time of drastic change for Keda. She's moving across the country, leaving her best friend and everything she knows behind, and dealing with a parent with mental illness. She is also struggling with issues of identity and knowing exactly where she fits-- questions that are only compounded by this change in environment and the countless ignorant questions she is constantly forced to answer as a young black girl adopted into a white family. I felt hard-wired into Keda's emotions. Every pain and triumph. But most of all, my heart was lifted by her strength and by the sense of hope that permeated every line. I loved her so much, and I know that you will too.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Oh boy did I love this book!!! Reason 1: I have students that will see so many mirrors of their own lives in Keda’s life in their own (black, smart, adopted, parents that don’t look like her, mental illness in the family, love of music/singing, being the new kid, being called an offensive name...) Reason 2: I loved the mix of chapters written in prose with chapters written in verse or song lyrics. Although I do enjoy novels written entirely in verse, I feel like they often tend to fall flat when Oh boy did I love this book!!! Reason 1: I have students that will see so many mirrors of their own lives in Keda’s life in their own (black, smart, adopted, parents that don’t look like her, mental illness in the family, love of music/singing, being the new kid, being called an offensive name...) Reason 2: I loved the mix of chapters written in prose with chapters written in verse or song lyrics. Although I do enjoy novels written entirely in verse, I feel like they often tend to fall flat when you consider the poems individually—more often than not it feels to me like authors of novels in verse took the easy way out and just wrote short chapters spaced out over more pages rather than poetry. Because Lockington scattered Keda’s poems and songs lyrics throughout the book, I felt like she really focused on making each one shine with the word choice and figurative language. Reason 3: Keda’s relationships rang true for me—especially her relationships with her best friend and her sister. Both were complicated and layered in exactly the ways you’d expect for an eleven year old girl. Needless to say, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this for my students to read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kip

    This book is absolutely gorgeous. Five stars on the writing alone. So many touching, lovely images throughout, and the voice just hums with unique sentence structure and stylistic choices that show the reader so clearly who Keda is and who she wants to become. Such a lovable character! On top of all this, poems sprinkled throughout point to Keda's struggle as an adopted black girl in a white family, while that family threatens to combust with struggles of its own due to the adoptive mother's men This book is absolutely gorgeous. Five stars on the writing alone. So many touching, lovely images throughout, and the voice just hums with unique sentence structure and stylistic choices that show the reader so clearly who Keda is and who she wants to become. Such a lovable character! On top of all this, poems sprinkled throughout point to Keda's struggle as an adopted black girl in a white family, while that family threatens to combust with struggles of its own due to the adoptive mother's mental illness. Highly emotional read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mariama J.

    I'm biased because I wrote this book, but it's the book of my heart and I worked hard on it. I hope that it sparks conversation and provides a mirror to someone who needs it. Thanks for reading it and for considering Keda's adoptee story. I appreciate you! I'm biased because I wrote this book, but it's the book of my heart and I worked hard on it. I hope that it sparks conversation and provides a mirror to someone who needs it. Thanks for reading it and for considering Keda's adoptee story. I appreciate you!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen McKenna

    A heartbreaking, beautiful book about family, identity, and the messiness of being a human. The story follows Makeda (Keda for short) through a move across the country with her family. While her older sister is outgrowing childhood and leaving Keda behind, Keda wrestles with being all alone in a new school where she experiences microaggressions and overt racism. To add to the loneliness, her father is busy with a new job, and her mother is slipping into a depression. Keda was adopted as a baby, a A heartbreaking, beautiful book about family, identity, and the messiness of being a human. The story follows Makeda (Keda for short) through a move across the country with her family. While her older sister is outgrowing childhood and leaving Keda behind, Keda wrestles with being all alone in a new school where she experiences microaggressions and overt racism. To add to the loneliness, her father is busy with a new job, and her mother is slipping into a depression. Keda was adopted as a baby, and none of Keda's white family members understand her needs, from buying the right lotion for her skin to taking her to the right hair salon to saying the world should be "colorblind", they don't get it right. Keda yearns to understand what it would be like to grow up in a biological family. This story covers so many important topics in an authentic voice: trans-racial adoption, microaggressions, racism, bipolar depression, suicide I appreciated that the story shows a switch from traditional school to homeschooling as a positive alternative (rather than the homeschooling student finally going to "real" school as so many stories do). I found the short chapters, beautiful poetry, honest letters between friends, and musical influences to add both interest and variety. I fell in love with Keda's voice and hurt with her. This is a heartfelt #windowsand mirrors book that will stick with me for a long time. Thank you for the opportunity to read it. #LitReviewCrew Note and spoiler alert: - - - There is a dramatic suicide attempt scene (mother) that could definitely be a trigger for some readers.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Valyncia Raphael

    I dare you to read this book and not have it change your life. This book moves you and gives you an insider perspective of the weight little black girls carry when they come of age in a white hippie family in the U.S. This book illuminates the intricacies of growing pains and love in contexts of family and friendship. As the character moves cross-country and spends the year adjusting, we are along for the ride to see what the transition is like at school and home with an physically absent (due t I dare you to read this book and not have it change your life. This book moves you and gives you an insider perspective of the weight little black girls carry when they come of age in a white hippie family in the U.S. This book illuminates the intricacies of growing pains and love in contexts of family and friendship. As the character moves cross-country and spends the year adjusting, we are along for the ride to see what the transition is like at school and home with an physically absent (due to work) and a mentally absent parent (due to mental illness). As Makeda makes sense of her world, we are invited to make sense of ourselves.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Moriah

    This was a giveaway win and man was I excited to read it. I loved this. Highly recommend if you enjoy middle grade books!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sam Bloom

    Struggled between 3.5 and 4, but rounded up because this is the second book, for young people, that I’m aware of dealing with transracial adoption written by a woman of color who was herself a transracial adoptee. Yes, that’s a mouthful, but it’s also a BIG FUCKING DEAL. And seriously... 2. 2 books that fit this description in existence (that I am aware of, at least)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I really liked this book and I think the title was very apt-this book is for black girls like Keda. I very much appreciate that this book exists for black girls who have been adopted by white patents; for black girls that are the only black girl in their school; and for black girls that are homeschooled. This book was pretty sad, but it also held beautiful moments of pure joy that only middle schoolers can feel, and that’s super important. The friendship Keda had in the book was true to friendsh I really liked this book and I think the title was very apt-this book is for black girls like Keda. I very much appreciate that this book exists for black girls who have been adopted by white patents; for black girls that are the only black girl in their school; and for black girls that are homeschooled. This book was pretty sad, but it also held beautiful moments of pure joy that only middle schoolers can feel, and that’s super important. The friendship Keda had in the book was true to friendships and it was strong and supportive and I loved that. It was an impressive story; as a teacher, it’s one I want in my library with maybe a warning. An important book regardless.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    It’s hard walking in Makeda’s shoes. The body that occupies those shoes, misses her best friend that she had to leave behind, when she moved with her family this summer. That same body, is stared at and harassed by her peers when she begins 6th grade at her new school. That same body, feels that no one understands exactly what she goes through, not her mother nor her sister, even though they think they do. That same body, doesn’t know who she is or where she belongs. The battles that Makeda face It’s hard walking in Makeda’s shoes. The body that occupies those shoes, misses her best friend that she had to leave behind, when she moved with her family this summer. That same body, is stared at and harassed by her peers when she begins 6th grade at her new school. That same body, feels that no one understands exactly what she goes through, not her mother nor her sister, even though they think they do. That same body, doesn’t know who she is or where she belongs. The battles that Makeda faces are real, they’re typical of what’s happening in our world today and that’s important. It’s looking at these conflicts through the eyes of Makeda, that makes this book significant. Makeda, is an 11-year-old African American girl who was adopted by a white family. Before they moved, Makeda had a best friend named Lena, who was also adopted. This connection, linked the two girls and they became very close to one another. Now, Makeda feels as if she’s connected to no one and her connections with Lena are now long-distance. It’s hard being a teen and moving into a new neighborhood but for Makeda, the situation becomes even more difficult when she’s questioned about her parents on the that first day of school. Adoption. Moving. Racial tension. Teen and school issues. Mental illness (suicide attempt). How much more can an 11-year handle? No one can walk in Makeda’s shoes. Her situation is her own. She’s unique and special but she doesn’t see it that way. She feels alone, isolated and hurt. 4,5 stars This is an important book to read and I highly recommend it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This is an excellent book. I loved the point of view of the main character, Makeda. Keda (as she likes to be called) is a 6th grade Black girl whose adopted (white) family has just moved to New Mexico from Baltimore. It’s hard to move across the country and switch schools in the middle of the year, especially when classmates are unkind and racist. Keda struggles to find friends and tension mounts as her dad leaves to tour with the symphony and her mother’s mental health deteriorates. This book w This is an excellent book. I loved the point of view of the main character, Makeda. Keda (as she likes to be called) is a 6th grade Black girl whose adopted (white) family has just moved to New Mexico from Baltimore. It’s hard to move across the country and switch schools in the middle of the year, especially when classmates are unkind and racist. Keda struggles to find friends and tension mounts as her dad leaves to tour with the symphony and her mother’s mental health deteriorates. This book was hard for me to read at times. Keda felt out of place and misunderstood in her own family. Her mother’s mental illness made her a very poor parent for long stretches and it was heartbreaking to see how scary that was for Keda and her sister. I think it was also hard for me because Keda’s mom is ultimately diagnosed with bipolar 2 and I can’t read a book like this and not wonder what it means for my daughter who has the same illness. Our library has this book classified as juvenile fiction, but I would categorize it as YA. Could a fifth grader read it? Yes. But the content is a lot to handle. Instead I would save it for your 7th grader or up and read it together. There’s so much good stuff in this book, along with the hard stuff. Kind of like life.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Manning

    I've been pushing myself to read books about characters that are different than me, and this is one book that nailed it with important topics of society today. It is important for me to read from the perspectives of different characters than what I am used to, and Keda's voice in this book did exactly that. Written from the perspective of a black, adopted young girl who is trying to figure out who she is was a great read for me and will be for others, whether it is a mirror or a window book for I've been pushing myself to read books about characters that are different than me, and this is one book that nailed it with important topics of society today. It is important for me to read from the perspectives of different characters than what I am used to, and Keda's voice in this book did exactly that. Written from the perspective of a black, adopted young girl who is trying to figure out who she is was a great read for me and will be for others, whether it is a mirror or a window book for the reader!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Franki Sibberson

    There are very few books about adoption that deal with race and the issues around interracial adoption, especially for middle graders when often the issues become so complex. I thought this was a good book sharing some of the issues a black child faces as part of a white family. There is a huge thread about the mother's depression/undiagnosed bipolar and I thought it was a lot--the adoption/race issues as well as the depression/parenting issue. But it was done well and I think it is an important There are very few books about adoption that deal with race and the issues around interracial adoption, especially for middle graders when often the issues become so complex. I thought this was a good book sharing some of the issues a black child faces as part of a white family. There is a huge thread about the mother's depression/undiagnosed bipolar and I thought it was a lot--the adoption/race issues as well as the depression/parenting issue. But it was done well and I think it is an important book. It seems more middle school than middle grade to me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    What a beautiful story about family, belonging, and self-discovery. Here are some things I loved: short chapters. My MG students do so well with short chapters (and so do I!) Wide-range of tough topics. Realistic characters who make mistakes and are human. Then, they grow. Finally, Keda. I loved her so much. I received this book as part of the #LitReviewCrew in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joshunda Sanders

    This is a really special, beautiful middle grade book that touches on so many things young adoptees face across racial lines, mental health & the delicate beauty of becoming a young woman when you are a sweet little girl with an old soul. The cover is exquisite and it absolutely conveys the wonder and amazement that awaits readers inside the book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    This started off as one thing but ended as another. I thought it was going to be about a girl’s search for identity, which it sort of was, but it wound up being more about her mentally ill mother. It was too disjointed, the author should have stuck to one theme. Plus, and l know this is petty, but the lack of comma use drove me straight up bonkers.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I know this is a review and not a journal entry, however I was almost finished a fairly lengthy review of this book when my phone rang, and then my review froze, and then it disappeared and that is SO frustrating! I was really impressed with how many issues this book tackled and wove together successfully. If ever anyone asks for proof that young adult, tween, juvenile, children's, or whatever other label fits - literature is worthy of reading as an adult, this would be an easy and great example I know this is a review and not a journal entry, however I was almost finished a fairly lengthy review of this book when my phone rang, and then my review froze, and then it disappeared and that is SO frustrating! I was really impressed with how many issues this book tackled and wove together successfully. If ever anyone asks for proof that young adult, tween, juvenile, children's, or whatever other label fits - literature is worthy of reading as an adult, this would be an easy and great example of literature written for young people that holds its own against and may be superior to a lot of adult fiction out there. I am a white person reading this book, and as I read it, I am perhaps 2/3 of the way through reading White Fragility, and this is one of a growing handful of books by minority authors featuring minority main characters I've read in close succession recently. These things, I think, inform my experience of this book, mainly in the way I saw the race issues in the story and particularly the interracial issues experienced by the Black main character and her White adoptive family. White Fragility has made me more aware of and sensitive to ways in which racism plays out and white privilege plays out so subtly and so pervasively...so insidiously, that I could see how one sister is being indoctrinated into the world of white supremacy (and if you happen to read this and are White and haven't read White Fragility, you may be having a really adverse reaction to my using the phrase "white supremacy" as a descriptor of our modern world and culture...I get it being White myself, but really, I recommend that book) this way and using white privilege, and the other sister is being victimized by that same world...in the same family, at the same time. And the Black girl's family - that same White family - loves her, and doesn’t consciously wish to be racist or to perpetuate racism. It doesn’t matter. They are all caught up together in this culture we’re in. There are a couple points where I think the White adults are on the edge of seeing something they don't quite see, or they catch a glimpse of something they choose not to look more deeply at. Or both. This is white privilege in action and the author captures it beautifully (the kind of beautiful that is so stark, so uncompromisingly true and harsh and ugly it makes your heart weep). I wouldn't have seen that in this book even six months ago. Yet it's there. So is the richness of life. There's sibling stuff. There's normal, who am I in general, in relation to this family I'm in, and in relation to the world stuff that I would expect in any book featuring an 11 year old and a 14 year old. There's the additional questions any adopted child who doesn't know her birth family would be experiencing. There's the layer on top of that from the adoption being an interracial one, leaving Keda with questions about her cultural background and identity in addition to her familial background and identity - or maybe that's normal for any adoptee to wonder about too. Part of the beauty and glory of this book was the true-to-life blurring of lines. Where is the issue about race and where is it just normal teen stuff or sister stuff? Mental illness and children being exposed to parental marital problems are other issues in this book, and again the reader is forced to question how much of various issues are simply normal parent child issues given the ages of the kids and what's going on in the family, and how much is the mental illness stuff or the marital issues driving what's going on in the family and consquently affecting the parent-child relationships. Overall, I felt this book tackled a LOT of rich material and handled it and balanced it brilliantly. Would an actual 11 year old want to read this book and understand all that’s in it? Not sure. But as an adult reading it I truly enjoyed it even though it made me sad in a lot of places and made me squirm a bit in others.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.