Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Librarian M shares one of her favorite titles of the year so far!

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Jade is one of the only black students at her private high school in Portland and she is the only student taking the bus there from her neighborhood. She works hard and keeps her head down, but now that she is in her junior year she is excited about the possibility of doing a service project in Central or South American to practice her Spanish skills. Her guidance counselor hooks her up with a mentorship program called Woman to Woman, and first Jade is skeptical of the offer but ultimately decides to accept since if she completes it she will receive a full scholarship to any school in Oregon.

As Jade considers the world around her she grapples with her relationships with the people in her life: her mother, who works two jobs and can still barely pay the bills; her friend Lee Lee from middle school, who goes to the high school in her neighborhood; her new white friend Sam, who struggles to understand Jade; and Maxine, her mentor, who is trying to do a good job as a mentor but has trouble connecting with Jade. How can Jade juggle all this plus do a good job in school?

Jade is extremely insightful, but still has the voice of a teenager. She’s reticent to ask for what she wants (or needs) and would rather walk away from a situation than deal with conflict. Over the course of the book she grows up a lot and helps the people around her grow as well. This book is wonderful and highly recommended for everyone.

More to read:

American Street by Ibi Zoboi


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