A Book for Kids that Challenges Stereotypes

Race, gender and economic disparity is a tall order for one story, but this is a book for kids that challenges stereotypes.  Jade is an honest and endearing character and her voice will give kids and adults a new perspective.  If readers are in similar circumstances this book may well validate a girl’s feelings.  Seeing the world through Jade’s eyes was eye opening for me and I cannot recommend this book enough.  I would love to see this one garner some stickers come awards season.

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Title: Piecing Me Togetherpiecing me together a book for kids that challenges stereotypes

Author: Renee Watson

Target: Grades 6-12

Series: No

What this book is about:

Jade is poor and black and her mother encourages her to take advantage of every opportunity to change her circumstances. Jade goes to a mostly white private school on scholarship, she has a Saturday morning test prep class and she is invited to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for young black girls from the wrong side of town. But sometimes it feels like everyone else’s good intentions are meant to make Jade feel like she isn’t good enough the way she is. She wants to find her voice and contribute, not just be a project for someone else.

Why I love this book:

  • The beauty of a great book is that it allows you to walk in someone else’s shoes for a time and get a better sense of their life, challenges, joys and injustices. This book was an insightful and honest look at how a young black girl feels navigating a white world. And it should come as no surprise to anyone that the most important thing she wants is what every person wants, to be heard.
  • This book tackles both race and economic disparity in quite a nuanced way. It shreds stereotypes and creates more complex characters. I love that it also brings in art and poetry as a way to add value to the world.
  • This book will probably not fly off the shelves without some book talking. It is slower paced and introspective so it may need a little push. But once a teen gets into this story, they will really appreciate Jade.

Who this book is for:

Wonderful for kids who like character driven books. If your child is interested in race relations and has read The Hate U Give, this is a good selection, but it is also about a girl finding her voice, so I don’t want to categorize it as simply a book about race.

Final thoughts:

I felt as though I was capable of being a more compassionate person after reading this story. That is a real gift.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Piecing Me Together.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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