Nina Armstrong is a biracial teen whose mother is white and her father black. Fifteen is already a tough age but now her parents have divorced. Nina struggles to find her place in her family, school and a world where having dark skin labels you as “different”. Can the stories her father tell her about her great-great grandmother’s escape from slavery help her find own identity in a world that has gone crazy?
Pros: First of all, can we not just take a moment to speak of how wonderful this cover is?? Love it! I really like how this book tackles difficult topics without crossing a line for a younger audience. Nina is a very believable character and the layers of different points in history help to make it a rich read.
Cons: There are people who steal and shoplift but it is not condoned. Realistic (and pertinent) violence in the stories of slavery. Suggestion of sexual misconduct by slave owner.
Rating: PG 13 due to the sensetive topic and the realistic portrayal of slave life.
Personal Opinion: This is a well written book that I would recommend to tweens. Because it is written for younger teens those readers who are more mature may not find the tension high enough in this novel. However, this is a great springboard for discussion for those young teens who have questions regarding black history and racial tension today.
Discussion points for parents & teachers:
- Black history
- Judging someone by how they look
- Self Identity (finding out who they are as a person)
- Speaking up