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For Black Girls Like Me

de Mariama J. Lockington

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Eleven-year-old Makeda dreams of meeting her African American mother, while coping with serious problems in her white adopted family, a cross-country move, and being homeschooled.
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Keda is struggling with her identity as a Black adoptee of a white family, in a new place, while her mother's mental health is spiraling out of control. There's a lot going on, but I found it hard to put down -- Keda is such a bright, emerging spark of a girl: shy, but willing to stick up for herself. Often feeling like an outsider, but finding comfort in the pieces of Black culture that are available to her. It's a powerful book. I had an ebook version and I can't tell if the whole thing is meant to be in verse, but in any case, the verse sections weave well into the whole. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
This book highlights the very real issue of racism that can traumatize young children who feel that they are different in a bad way. Makeda, our main character, gives us a glimpse into the life of an adopted black girl living with a white family. And though her family loves her, she faces many challenges simply because of the color of her skin. I would have my students read this in social studies, so they could learn the effects of racism and why it is important to fight it. ( )
  emwalker97 | Nov 21, 2020 |
The book tells the story of a adopted African American girl, Keda who faces many challenges. Although her adopted family loves her, they do not understand the hardships she undergoes. Not only does Keda have trouble "fitting in" at school, she is facing family problems at home. As a young adolescent, Keda is exploring the world and getting to know about herself. I recommend this book to middle school students and teachers because there is a lot of topics many students are relate to such as belonging and learn about. ( )
  mxa107 | Nov 17, 2020 |
Makeda's life is turned upside down when her family moves to New Mexico from Baltimore. She leaves her best friend and just doesn't know how she fits. Adopted as a baby, she notices frequently people staring and wonder how she fits within her family. She deals with micro-aggressions and overt racism. As her mom spirals in mental illness, she and her sister are overwhelmed and unhappy when their father travels around the world playing music. Some parts of the book were written in verse, especially song lyrics and words from the Georgia Belles, spirits who visit her in her dreams and seem to represent her birth family and heritage. ( )
  ewyatt | Oct 28, 2020 |
Sometimes to call a novel "YA" is a misnomer. Many of them are told from the perspective of anyone from ages 10-19, and not necessarily to be read only by that age group. This one is a revealing look at the life of a black girl with her white adoptive family. For Keda, there's first the issue of how the world treats and sees her, as a strange and unrecognizable appendage, and then there's her mother's mental health issues, and her sister Eve's casual dismissal of their differences. For comfort, Keda has the Georgia Belles, imaginary invisible kin to her unknown birth mother, who appear to her in her room encouraging her with comforting blues ballads. Keda's also got a move from Baltimore to New Mexico and friends and enemies at school as formidable obstacles. Both whites and people of color have learned a great deal from various fiction and non-fiction about the unbearable burden of racism, but this situation of a black girl in a white family is unique and memorable and the author's words are wise.

Quote: "I love Ella and Billie and oh I just can't get enough of Nina Simone. These women sing and I feel like they are talking to me. Like they know what it is to feel loved and lonely all at the same time." ( )
  froxgirl | Sep 2, 2019 |
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Eleven-year-old Makeda dreams of meeting her African American mother, while coping with serious problems in her white adopted family, a cross-country move, and being homeschooled.

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