Thursday, January 25, 2018

Review: Piecing Me Together

Title: Piecing me Together
Author: Renée Watson
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: February 14, 2017

A timely and powerful story about a teen girl from a poor neighborhood striving for success, from acclaimed author Renée Watson.

Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.

But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.

I got a chance to volunteer at a book festival,  where I purchased this book. While searching for books to buy, I saw this cover, and fell in love. I had no idea what the book was about, but while going to an event I was able to hear a panel with Renée Watson. I also got a chance to talk to her, found she was an AmeriCorps once in Boston. I love AmeriCorps, we bonded.  Bought the book, almost cried while talking to her about the book because I get emotional sometimes. But that's enough about me and my issues...

Enter the world of Jade, who is an artist, daughter, niece, and best friend, who is trying to find her place in the world. Jade attends a predominately white school, being one of few black girls on the school roster. Jade doesn't have any friends that attend this school, which makes it a little easier for Jade to concentrate on her school work. This also makes her a little lonely, not having someone to share inside jokes, walk the hallways with, and have lunch together. Jade makes a friend another girl who rides the bus to school, they soon bond, and become fast friends. One of Jade's passions is learning Spanish, and hopefully being able to take the class trip abroad where she would be able to practice her Spanish. Jade has to deal with microaggressions, an overprotective mother, and of course racism. You honestly can not talk about racism enough, when it happens to Jade, calls it as is.  Jade also navigates issues within the Black community, we don't talk about this enough. We see this by Jade struggling to make a connection with her mentor Maxine, who comes from a wealthy Black family. We can't tell others that their feelings are invalid or they don't matter but also you can't force someone to get your view point. The title is more than just a title, Jade has to put herself back together after losing herself, and she also starts speaking up for herself. Jade finds out that she is perfectly happy being Jade. This book was an amazing read, and I would think everyone should read it. 5/5

Things That Are Black and Beautiful: 

A Starless Night Sky 
Storm Clouds 
Black Swans 
Afro Puffs 
Michelle Obama 


"I don't know what's worse. Being mistreat because of the color of your skin, your size, or having to prove that it really happened."

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