High School September 2018August 1st, 2018 | Posted by in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 High School | September | High School
Watson, Renée. Piecing Me Together. Bloomsbury, 2017. 264 pages (978–1–68119–105–8)
Age 13 and older
Jade misses going to school with neighborhood friends but the private school she attends on scholarship offers an international volunteer opportunity. This year she hopes to be chosen. In the meantime, Jade’s school counselor encourages her to participate in a community-based mentoring program for African American girls. Jade is paired with Maxine, an African American alum of her school. Meanwhile Jade’s classmate Sam—whom she gets to know because they both ride the bus, a rarity—has never stepped foot in Jade’s neighborhood. It all has Jade thinking about how people perceive her, and her community. Then she isn’t chosen for the volunteer trip to Costa Rica, despite tutoring fellow students in Spanish. The reason? Jade already participates in the mentoring program and her teacher feels other students deserve opportunities, too. Jade’s frustration is further fueled by the assault of a young Black woman by police in a nearby community. For Jade, the beating is too close, too personal, intensifying her sense of disquiet and disconnect with her school community, including Sam. Why, she finally challenges her teacher, her counselor, her mentor, does everyone assume because she is poor and Black that she needs help and “opportunities” but has nothing to offer, something to give? This vivid, poignant novel features singular characters; complex, authentic relationships; and a young woman voicing a critical truth. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center
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