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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

This is a great young adult book about growing up poor and black and smart.  I think that there is a lot to learn from the main character, Jade, about why African Americans get mad and stay mad.  Jade is a girl who has a whole lot going for her.  She is smart and she knows that in order to escape poverty she needs to escape where she lives.  Not just the neighborhood but the whole place.  She needs to create the new her, and she can't do it in too familiar an environment.  That has the downstream problem of stripping her of her support system, and I think that is underappreciated.  Then there is the burden of being an underrepresented minority when you do get out of your neighborhood.  Jade gets a scholarship to a good private school, which is a huge plus for her, but the downside is that they, not her, decide what is the best "opportunity" for her to receive, and it is not always a great fit for her.  Which leaves her angry and those who are affording her these advantages interpret that as being ungrateful.  She has a tough line to walk and the book really nicely points that out.  Highly recommended.

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