Note: Review of Advance Reader’s Edition | Book publishes 7/30/2019 #BookExcursion
Makeda June Kirkland is a transracial adoptee. An 11-year old Black girl with a White mother, father, and sister. Her move from Baltimore, MD to Albuquerque, NM, also makes her the new girl at a new school where she is grossly misunderstood by her peers. She’s trying to come into her own in a world where she often feels like she doesn’t fit in. As it is said in the book’s blurb, “For Black Girls Like Me is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do you figure out where you are going if you don’t know where you came from?”
Keda’s experience is authentic and pure. With all my heart I adored her “Questions I have for Black Girls Like Me” that are interspersed throughout the text, in purposeful poetic form; while others are written as letters and then blog posts to her best friend Lena. She’s asking the sort of questions that I’ve uttered at one point in my formative years; and if I were honest with myself, that sometimes resurface from the recesses of my mind. Questions like: “Who loves us? Who wants to dance with us? Who sees us? Who understands us? Who holds us? Who thinks we are beautiful? ” Or how about another question of Keda’s, “Who decides what kind of hair is beautiful?” There are so many more great questions and my eyes teared up reading some of them because in 2019 we have to have a Natural Hair Discrimination Law enacted and in 2019 we have Black women being asked to cover up for “inappropriate” attire (Dr. Tisha Rowe) as though people can’t handle our curves. I was reading Keda’s questions and found myself answering her. “I see you Keda. I love you. I will dance with you. You are beautiful.”
This book was on my #MustReadin2019 list and I am so glad that I finally had the chance to read it while it was on a #BookExcursion. I look forward to adding this book for readers to enjoy in our library. I think it is well suited for upper middle grade readers and will also appeal to middle and high school students.
Mariama J. Lockington | https://mariamajlockington.com/
Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers
An Imprint of MacMillan Publishing Group, LLC
Book Excursion | PLN Group of Rockstar Reading Educators| #BookExcursion