BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama Lockington [in Booklist]

Navigating ages, gender, backgrounds, and race, Imani Parks encompasses the peripatetic Kirkland family of four who relocate from Baltimore to Albuquerque. As bonded as the quartet – two musician parents, teen daughter Eve, and tween daughter Keda – might seem to the outside world, one of these is not like the others just by virtue of skin color: Keda, adopted as an infant, is Black, her family not.

For Keda, leaving Baltimore means separation from BFF Lena, who’s also a transracial adoptee. Keda’s new-girl challenges – including daily microaggressions and even the N-word – are compounded as the sisters are left alone with their unreliable mother, a former prodigy resentful of her musician husband’s international performances.

Parks adapts effortlessly through the prose, verse poetry, diary-esque notebook entries, emails, and Tumblr posts that make up Mariama Lockington’s (The Lucky Daughter) middle-grade fiction debut, which was 10 years in the writing and inspired by her own transracial-adoptee experiences. Capital-I Issues are plenty – racial divides, color blindness, marital discord, identity formation, mental illness, suicide, and more – but Parks tackles each with enhancing empathy and discerning grace.

Review: “Media,” Booklist, January 1, 2020

Readers: Middle Grade

Published: 2019


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