For Black Girls Like Me
I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark.Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena―the only other adopted black girl she knows―for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend.Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me?Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.

For Black Girls Like Me Details

TitleFor Black Girls Like Me
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 30th, 2019
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
ISBN-139780374308049
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Contemporary, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Fiction

For Black Girls Like Me Review

  • Laura Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to author Mariama J. Lockington (@forblackgirlslikeme) and @macmillankidsbooks for a free copy of this STUNNING book to share with @kidlitexchange. I will be mailing this to @akossket right away and then it will be shared w/#kidlitexchange. This book isn't out until July 30, but please put it on all your summer pre-orders now. It's perfect for grades 4 - 8 and belongs in each and every elementary and middle school library in America..~~5/5 big GUSHING stars for this beautifully written de Thanks to author Mariama J. Lockington (@forblackgirlslikeme) and @macmillankidsbooks for a free copy of this STUNNING book to share with @kidlitexchange. I will be mailing this to @akossket right away and then it will be shared w/#kidlitexchange. This book isn't out until July 30, but please put it on all your summer pre-orders now. It's perfect for grades 4 - 8 and belongs in each and every elementary and middle school library in America..~~5/5 big GUSHING stars for this beautifully written debut novel. Written in prose, but also poetry, lyrics, letters and Tumblr posts, For Black Girls Like Me tells the story of Keda, a young Black adoptee who is struggling with her identity while also dealing with her mother's worsening mental illness. Short chapters, a compelling narrative and well developed characters make this a quick, compulsive read. I know several students who will devour this book in one or two sittings like I did. And YET -- while this was a quick read, the message and story will be with me for a long time..~~Keda's family has moved from Baltimore to Albuquerque for her father's job. Her parents are both accomplished string musicians, but her mother is out of work for now and spends long days in bed. Her white sister, Eve, immediately finds new friends in her new school, but the transition is not as easy for Keda. In her new school, Keda experiences both microaggressions and overt racism (including the N word). When she finds out, her mother tries to help by dramatically removing both daughters from the school. While this may be the correct response, the mother's drama and white tears, her constant insistence on being "colorblind" when Keda knows the world is anything but and her refusal to buy her daughter effective lotion for her skin all add up to a mother who doesn't truly understand her own child. .~~Keda feels like she doesn't have anyone to turn to for help besides her best friend (and fellow adoptee), Lena, who is now on the other side of the country. Keda and Lena's letters radiate with warmth, humor and love; they are my very favorite part of this book. Their resulting Tumblr, titled Questions I Have For Black Girls Like Me, is an outlet for Keda and her emotions. As Keda's mother's illness worsens and her behavior becomes more erratic, Keda and her sister Eve must work through their differences to support each other and help their mother. Readers will likely appreciate the complicated end of this book; many of the characters have work to do in the future if they are to support each other effectively. No neat happy endings here..~~For Black Girls Like Me is a perfect #windowsandmirrors book that offers important insight into the world of a transracial adoption, as well as the reality of living with a mentally ill parent. I can't wait to send it off to #kidlitexchange to get more reviews, especially from some Black reviewers. .~~#bookstagram #bookreview #forblackgirlslikeme #mgbook #mglit #middlegradebooks #transracialadoption
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  • Arielfranchakyahoo.com
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book that will remain in my heart for a long, long time. Beautifully written, in a variety of formats, BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME, is the story of Keda, an 11-year old African American girl adopted as a baby, by a white family. However, this story not only tackles the feelings Keda has a black girl growing up in a white family, it also addresses racism, mental illness, friendship and family bonds. This story had so many rich layers to it, and although it was heartbreaking at times, it was pow This is a book that will remain in my heart for a long, long time. Beautifully written, in a variety of formats, BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME, is the story of Keda, an 11-year old African American girl adopted as a baby, by a white family. However, this story not only tackles the feelings Keda has a black girl growing up in a white family, it also addresses racism, mental illness, friendship and family bonds. This story had so many rich layers to it, and although it was heartbreaking at times, it was powerful, engaging and beautiful. I loved how the story was told, not only through a narrative and poems, but through letters and blog posts between Keda and her best friend. I also loved how the title of each chapter interacted and connected with the story. This was a book that I seriously couldn’t put down. I stayed up many nights reading way too late because I was completely invested in Keda and needed to find hope for her in the darkness. This story was raw and real. While the ending was not necessarily “happily ever after,” (and it didn’t need to be, by any means) it was honest and hopeful. As a middle school reading specialist, I would highly recommend this book to all middle grade readers and will definitely add this to my classroom library.
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  • Akoss
    January 1, 1970
    @Kidlitexchange #partner - I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.Releasing 7/30/19Keda is a Black eleven-year-old girl with a white adoptive family. When her family moves to a different state Keda gets separated from her best friend, the only other Black girl with a white adoptive family she knows. Now she has to dig deep (into her beliefs and emotions) to face the world with the type of ugliness only she experien @Kidlitexchange #partner - I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.Releasing 7/30/19Keda is a Black eleven-year-old girl with a white adoptive family. When her family moves to a different state Keda gets separated from her best friend, the only other Black girl with a white adoptive family she knows. Now she has to dig deep (into her beliefs and emotions) to face the world with the type of ugliness only she experiences because of her skin color. There are so many Black girl truths in this book. I teared up, I laughed, I blushed, I hollered and got angry right along with Keda. Keda's story of coming of age is also one of family emotional ties. The love and patience she has for her family (especially her mom) will make your heart swell.The way the author handles mental illness squeezed my heart. She does it truthfully with the confusion, anger, denial and loss that usually follows a medical diagnosis.Keda's life sounds rough and emotionally draining but I appreciate the relentless presence of hope in the story through Keda's beautiful verses. Things are very messy but definitely not hopeless.This is a book that is sure to spark hours and hours of discussions. I can't wait for July so I can finally talk spoilers with quotes because I. Have. Things. To. Say. Good things of course.
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  • Danielle Stinson
    January 1, 1970
    This book is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I finished it with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart. Lockington's writing is gorgeous. There were so many moments of beautiful imagery. Countless lines I stopped to read twice. The poetry in the book is lovely, and the letters between Keda and her best friend were one of my favorite parts. They were vibrant with humor and truth and a love you could feel. Keda's voice sings through these pages. It drew me in from the first line and wrapped me up This book is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I finished it with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart. Lockington's writing is gorgeous. There were so many moments of beautiful imagery. Countless lines I stopped to read twice. The poetry in the book is lovely, and the letters between Keda and her best friend were one of my favorite parts. They were vibrant with humor and truth and a love you could feel. Keda's voice sings through these pages. It drew me in from the first line and wrapped me up in her world. She is an unforgettable character. Kind and clever and brave. She is also incredibly resilient- something she proves throughout the course of the story as more is piled on her young shoulders. The story starts at a time of drastic change for Keda. She's moving across the country, leaving her best friend and everything she knows behind, and dealing with a parent with mental illness. She is also struggling with issues of identity and knowing exactly where she fits-- questions that are only compounded by this change in environment and the countless ignorant questions she is constantly forced to answer as a young black girl adopted into a white family. I felt hard-wired into Keda's emotions. Every pain and triumph. But most of all, my heart was lifted by her strength and by the sense of hope that permeated every line. I loved her so much, and I know that you will too.
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  • Karen McKenna
    January 1, 1970
    A heartbreaking, beautiful book about family, identity, and the messiness of being a human.The story follows Makeda (Keda for short) through a move across the country with her family. While her older sister is outgrowing childhood and leaving Keda behind, Keda wrestles with being all alone in a new school where she experiences microaggressions and overt racism. To add to the loneliness, her father is busy with a new job, and her mother is slipping into a depression. Keda was adopted as a baby, a A heartbreaking, beautiful book about family, identity, and the messiness of being a human.The story follows Makeda (Keda for short) through a move across the country with her family. While her older sister is outgrowing childhood and leaving Keda behind, Keda wrestles with being all alone in a new school where she experiences microaggressions and overt racism. To add to the loneliness, her father is busy with a new job, and her mother is slipping into a depression. Keda was adopted as a baby, and none of Keda's white family members understand her needs, from buying the right lotion for her skin to taking her to the right hair salon to saying the world should be "colorblind", they don't get it right. Keda yearns to understand what it would be like to grow up in a biological family. This story covers so many important topics in an authentic voice: trans-racial adoption, microaggressions, racism, bipolar depression, suicideI appreciated that the story shows a switch from traditional school to homeschooling as a positive alternative (rather than the homeschooling student finally going to "real" school as so many stories do). I found the short chapters, beautiful poetry, honest letters between friends, and musical influences to add both interest and variety. I fell in love with Keda's voice and hurt with her. This is a heartfelt #windowsand mirrors book that will stick with me for a long time. Thank you for the opportunity to read it. #LitReviewCrewNote and spoiler alert: ---There is a dramatic suicide attempt scene (mother) that could definitely be a trigger for some readers.
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  • Kip
    January 1, 1970
    This book is absolutely gorgeous. Five stars on the writing alone. So many touching, lovely images throughout, and the voice just hums with unique sentence structure and stylistic choices that show the reader so clearly who Keda is and who she wants to become. Such a lovable character! On top of all this, poems sprinkled throughout point to Keda's struggle as an adopted black girl in a white family, while that family threatens to combust with struggles of its own due to the adoptive mother's men This book is absolutely gorgeous. Five stars on the writing alone. So many touching, lovely images throughout, and the voice just hums with unique sentence structure and stylistic choices that show the reader so clearly who Keda is and who she wants to become. Such a lovable character! On top of all this, poems sprinkled throughout point to Keda's struggle as an adopted black girl in a white family, while that family threatens to combust with struggles of its own due to the adoptive mother's mental illness. Highly emotional read!
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  • Alexis
    January 1, 1970
    What a beautiful story about family, belonging, and self-discovery. Here are some things I loved: short chapters. My MG students do so well with short chapters (and so do I!)Wide-range of tough topics. Realistic characters who make mistakes and are human. Then, they grow. Finally, Keda. I loved her so much. I received this book as part of the #LitReviewCrew in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Oh boy did I love this book!!! Reason 1: I have students that will see so many mirrors of their own lives in Keda’s life in their own (black, smart, adopted, parents that don’t look like her, mental illness in the family, love of music/singing, being the new kid, being called an offensive name...)Reason 2: I loved the mix of chapters written in prose with chapters written in verse or song lyrics. Although I do enjoy novels written entirely in verse, I feel like they often tend to fall flat when Oh boy did I love this book!!! Reason 1: I have students that will see so many mirrors of their own lives in Keda’s life in their own (black, smart, adopted, parents that don’t look like her, mental illness in the family, love of music/singing, being the new kid, being called an offensive name...)Reason 2: I loved the mix of chapters written in prose with chapters written in verse or song lyrics. Although I do enjoy novels written entirely in verse, I feel like they often tend to fall flat when you consider the poems individually—more often than not it feels to me like authors of novels in verse took the easy way out and just wrote short chapters spaced out over more pages rather than poetry. Because Lockington scattered Keda’s poems and songs lyrics throughout the book, I felt like she really focused on making each one shine with the word choice and figurative language.Reason 3: Keda’s relationships rang true for me—especially her relationships with her best friend and her sister. Both were complicated and layered in exactly the ways you’d expect for an eleven year old girl. Needless to say, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this for my students to read.
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  • Kristin Thorsness
    January 1, 1970
    Mariama J. Lockington’s beautiful debut is definitely a book that will stick with me. It follows Keda, an eleven-year-old African American girl who was adopted into a white family. When her family moves, Keda has to take on being the new girl at school, missing her BFF, and escalating parental mental-health issues at home. The writing in this book—which takes the form of poetry, songs, blog posts, and prose—is gorgeous and I couldn’t put it down.
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  • Joshunda Sanders
    January 1, 1970
    This is a really special, beautiful middle grade book that touches on so many things young adoptees face across racial lines, mental health & the delicate beauty of becoming a young woman when you are a sweet little girl with an old soul. The cover is exquisite and it absolutely conveys the wonder and amazement that awaits readers inside the book.
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  • Asia Citro
    January 1, 1970
    Easily one of the best books I've read in 2019. Loved the story, the writing, and the characters. What a spectacular read!
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    This book is beautiful in so many ways. I love the style, I love Keda, and I love her story. I cannot wait to tell my students all about it!
  • Rajani LaRocca
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written coming-of-age story about Keda, an adopted black girl being raised by white parents. After moving to a new place, Keda needs to navigate a new school, new friends, and her mother's worsening mental illness. Gorgeous writing and compelling characters!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Yes! A book about trans-racial adoption is much needed, especially in this time of “Love Is Love”. We can’t fix racism by having bi/multi racial children, nor can we (white people) fix it with adopting bipoc children who are (most times) ripped from families / communities who can and do care for them. We need to acknowledge how harmful adoption is to bipoc people, and the generational trauma that has been passed down because of it.
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  • Gillian
    January 1, 1970
    Both beautiful and compelling, FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is from the perspective of Keda, a black girl who was adopted as an infant into a white family. You will be rooting for Keda from page 1 as she navigates a cross-country move and struggles to find where she belongs. Family and friendship relationships are nuanced and multi-layered. The writing is lyrical and perfectly crafted. A must-read.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    Interest Level: 3-6Have you ever felt like you don't belong or fit in? Makeda feels like this almost everywhere she goes - at home, at school, at the mall, at a restaurant - everywhere. This is because Makeda is adopted. Her parents and older sister are white so everywhere they go she gets stared at. Her only solace is her best friend, Lena, and this is because she is adopted also. Makeda and Lena used to do everything together before Makeda's family moved from Maryland to New Mexico. Now Makeda Interest Level: 3-6Have you ever felt like you don't belong or fit in? Makeda feels like this almost everywhere she goes - at home, at school, at the mall, at a restaurant - everywhere. This is because Makeda is adopted. Her parents and older sister are white so everywhere they go she gets stared at. Her only solace is her best friend, Lena, and this is because she is adopted also. Makeda and Lena used to do everything together before Makeda's family moved from Maryland to New Mexico. Now Makeda feels even more alone and isolated. At home things are not good. Her older sister makes friends right away and even gets a job. She doesn't have time for Makeda anymore. Her dad has left for a three month concert tour out of the country so that just leaves Makeda and her mother at home. Makeda never knows if it is going to be a good day or a bad day with her mother so most days she just stays clear of her. School is not so good either. Makeda just doesn't fit in and when a child makes some very ugly, racist remarks to Makeda her mom flips out and pulls her and her sister out of school to be homeschool. This means even more isolation for Makeda. Once again, her only solace is Lena, but now that it is summer Lena is busy with her gymnastic competitions and even she doesn't have time for Makeda. One day when Makeda's mom takes her and her sister on a spur of the moment vacation, Makeda begins to think everything will be alright. Her mom is in a good mood, maybe too good of a mood. She takes the girls shopping and spends way too much money, but Makeda doesn't care because she finally has her mom and sister's attention. However, this good feeling doesn't last very long when Makeda's mom starts to spiral out of control. An ambulance is called, Makeda and her sister have to go to their aunt's house, and their dad has to leave the tour early to come home. Makeda's sister is so mad that she lashes out at everyone and even refuses to speak to Makeda. Will Makeda's life every stop spinning out of control? Will the decisions that her mom made change her life forever? Will Makeda every feel like she fits in with her family and her new home? Read this new 2019 book to find out if Makeda ever finds her own self amid chaos.This book is absolutely amazing! It will take you through almost every emotion imaginable. Mariama J. Lockington does a fantastic job of pulling the reader into Makeda's life and feeling her heartache, her happiness, her loneliness, and her desperate desire to fit in. She also does a great job of addressing when a parent has a mental illness called bipolar disorder. Do not miss this incredible book!!Follow me:Blog - Blazer Tales - https://blazertales.com/Facebook - Laurie’s Library Place - https://www.facebook.com/LauriesLibra...Instagram - laurieslibrary - https://www.instagram.com/laurieslibr...Twitter - @laurieevans27 https://twitter.com/laurieevans27?lan...Goodreads - Laurie Purser - https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1...Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/auburngirl2...YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCulD...Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurie-ev...
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    Keda sometimes feels like an outsider in her own family. She is adopted and the only member of her family who is African American. Moving to a new city across the country and to a new school, Keda has to leave behind her best friend who completely understands her. Keda’s parents are both classical musicians, though her mother hasn’t been even practicing her violin lately. She tends to have spells where she can’t get out of bed mixed with other times filled with lots of energy and projects. Keda Keda sometimes feels like an outsider in her own family. She is adopted and the only member of her family who is African American. Moving to a new city across the country and to a new school, Keda has to leave behind her best friend who completely understands her. Keda’s parents are both classical musicians, though her mother hasn’t been even practicing her violin lately. She tends to have spells where she can’t get out of bed mixed with other times filled with lots of energy and projects. Keda feels a lot of pressure to take care of her mother, often not sharing the microaggressions she suffers at school or the racist names that others are calling her. When Keda’s mother finds out about the name calling, she pulls Keda and her older sister out of school entirely to be homeschooled. But her mother doesn’t consistently teach them, placing Keda into a girl scout troop for the summer where more racial incidents happen. As her mother’s condition worsens, Keda finds herself often alone with her mother at home trying to figure out how to help and not make things worse.Lockington vividly tells the story of a tween who struggles to make her personal needs known to a family who doesn’t experience the world in the same way due primarily to race. The book is told from Keda’s perspective which gives it a strong voice and makes the aggression she receives feel very personal to the reader. Just telling the story of an adoptive child who is pre-teen, African-American, and in a loving but struggling home is important. The subjects of microaggressions and racism are told in a straight-forward and unflinching way that will allow readers of all races to understand the impact and pain they cause.Keda’s character is resilient and smart. She is often struggling with huge issues from racism to mental illness. Yet she doesn’t ever give up. She stands up to bullies and racists, tries to protect her fragile mother from knowing about the hardships happening to her, and then works to care for her mother and protect her father. She is immensely alone in the book and yet always looking for a way forward.An important and very personal story of adoption, race and strength. Appropriate for ages 10-13.
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  • Kristin Crouch
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to MacKids School & Library for sharing a copy of Black Girls Like Me with Collabookation.Keda has a strong, musically gifted, and caring family. They are supportive and loving, and Keda loves them. But she feels alienated nonetheless. Keda is black, and her mother, father, and sister are white. While they will fiercely defend her, they can never really understand the feelings she harbors about always being looked at funny, constantly being asked about her 'real' family, and being Thank you to MacKids School & Library for sharing a copy of Black Girls Like Me with Collabookation.Keda has a strong, musically gifted, and caring family. They are supportive and loving, and Keda loves them. But she feels alienated nonetheless. Keda is black, and her mother, father, and sister are white. While they will fiercely defend her, they can never really understand the feelings she harbors about always being looked at funny, constantly being asked about her 'real' family, and being treated harshly. Keda faces racism head on in several scenes, and her family's reaction only exacerbate her feelings of isolation. However, another heavy thread weaves it's way through this story: her mother's mental unwellness. I, as a reader, could see it a mile away. But Lockington is especially adept at showing how mental unwellness is not as easy to spot when you are living with it, and have been all your life. Keda never questions her mother's depressive states, or her bouts of uncontrollable energy. That's just her mom, the way she's always been.Finally, I particularly identified with Keda's yearning to know more about her biological mother. Keda knows she's blessed with a wonderful family, but she can't stop herself from wondering about the woman who gave her up. Having never known my bioloical father, I feel that Lockington portrayed that constant feeling that something is missing so well. Keda is happy where she is, but a puzzle piece is missing, and she cannot reconcile herself to a puzzle with one missing piece. I loved this book, all it showed me, all I learned. I grew up in an adoptive family, and I love that Lockington portrayed an adoptive family that fits together so well. But I also loved that she expressed the feelings of isolation that Keda felt. No family is perfect, and biology certainly doesn't make it so. For Black Girls Like Me could've been a very heavy book, but Lockington moves the story forward without it ever feeling too heavy. Magical. I recommend this book to students in grades 6 and up.
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  • Christina Carter
    January 1, 1970
    Note: Review of Advance Reader's Edition | Book publishes 7/30/2019 #BookExcursionMakeda June Kirkland is a transracial adoptee. An 11-year old Black girl with a White mother, father, and sister. Her move from Baltimore, MD to Albuquerque, NM, also makes her the new girl at a new school where she is grossly misunderstood by her peers. She's trying to come into her own in a world where she often feels like she doesn't fit in.  As it is said in the book's blurb, "For Black Girls Like Me is for any Note: Review of Advance Reader's Edition | Book publishes 7/30/2019 #BookExcursionMakeda June Kirkland is a transracial adoptee. An 11-year old Black girl with a White mother, father, and sister. Her move from Baltimore, MD to Albuquerque, NM, also makes her the new girl at a new school where she is grossly misunderstood by her peers. She's trying to come into her own in a world where she often feels like she doesn't fit in.  As it is said in the book's blurb, "For Black Girls Like Me is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do you figure out where you are going if you don't know where you came from?"Keda's experience is authentic and pure. With all my heart I adored her "Questions I have for Black Girls Like Me" that are interspersed throughout the text, in purposeful poetic form; while others are written as letters and then blog posts to her best friend Lena.  She's asking the sort of questions that I've uttered at one point in my formative years; and if I were honest with myself, that sometimes resurface from the recesses of my mind. Questions like: "Who loves us? Who wants to dance with us? Who sees us? Who understands us? Who holds us? Who thinks we are beautiful? " Or how about another question of Keda's, "Who decides what kind of hair is beautiful?" There are so many more great questions and my eyes teared up reading some of them because in 2019 we have to have a Natural Hair Discrimination Law enacted and in 2019 we have Black women being asked to cover up for "inappropriate" attire (Dr. Tisha Rowe) as though people can't handle our curves. I was reading Keda's questions and found myself answering her. "I see you Keda. I love you. I will dance with you. You are beautiful." This book was on my #MustReadin2019 list and I am so glad that I finally had the chance to read it while it was on a #BookExcursion. I look forward to adding this book for readers to enjoy in our library. I think it is well suited for upper middle grade readers and will also appeal to middle and high school students.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusMakeda is adopted, and her musician parents and older sister, Eva, are white. This has always been a problem on many levels. People don't know what to think when they see a black girl with a white mother, and make rude comments about it. Also, her mother, despite all of her talk about understanding Keda's cultural background, doesn't know enough to do Keda's hair properly or get her the right sort of lotion for her dry skin. This might be because her mother is str E ARC provided by Edelweiss PlusMakeda is adopted, and her musician parents and older sister, Eva, are white. This has always been a problem on many levels. People don't know what to think when they see a black girl with a white mother, and make rude comments about it. Also, her mother, despite all of her talk about understanding Keda's cultural background, doesn't know enough to do Keda's hair properly or get her the right sort of lotion for her dry skin. This might be because her mother is struggling with issues of her own. When the family moves for the father's job (he plays with an orchestra), it is a hard transition for everyone. Her mother doesn't have a position of her own, and refuses to practice or to take on students, even though she occasionally throws herself into projects with enthusiasm. After a bad experience in their new school, the girls are pulled out by their mother and homeschooled. Keda does enjoy the homeschool community they join for additional lessons, activities, and socialization, but is increasingly worried about her mother's erratic behavior. When their father must travel out of the country for work, their mother takes them on a trip to Colorado where her behavior worsens and leads to a very intense situation. Luckily, their aunt steps in, and the family is finally able to struggle through getting the help they need. Strengths: This is an interesting discussion of transracial adoption, and is an #ownvoices book. Keda's struggles are related in a detailed way, and her sadness is palpable. Her mother's increasing mental illness is also well described, and it's good that help finally comes. The depiction of microagressions (as well as larger ones) that Keda has to deal with because of her family is also sad but realistic. Weaknesses: So many of my students come from families with mixed races that I wish this had included a few instances of more positive racial relations. I know that this is a difficult balance to strike.
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  • Laura Hill
    January 1, 1970
    A coming-of-age story for 11-year old Makeda. Opening on the road as she and her family are relocating West for her father’s new job as Principal Cellist in the New Mexico Symphony, we quickly learn that she is a black girl adopted into a white family shortly after birth. She both wonders about her birth mother and struggles with ongoing (and annoying) reactions of those around to her. People are constantly commenting on “how white she talks” and persisting with queries about where “she is reall A coming-of-age story for 11-year old Makeda. Opening on the road as she and her family are relocating West for her father’s new job as Principal Cellist in the New Mexico Symphony, we quickly learn that she is a black girl adopted into a white family shortly after birth. She both wonders about her birth mother and struggles with ongoing (and annoying) reactions of those around to her. People are constantly commenting on “how white she talks” and persisting with queries about where “she is really from” (even though the answer is simply “Atlanta.”)Told with a mixture of prose, poetry, and tumblr posts with her best friend back in Baltimore (also a black adoptee in a white family), we get an up close and personal look at one young girl’s transracial adoption experience. The writing is very good and the details of Makeda’s thoughts and feelings are incredibly perceptive and well-expressed. It’s important to remember that the book is completely focused on Makeda — her perceptions, her memories, her hopes, and her experiences from her perspective. As an older white person (not the target demographic here), I cringed at the description of her mother — the absolute stereotype of a guilt-ridden white liberal. When it becomes clear that her mother is mentally ill — she is diagnosed with bipolar disorder later in the book — her whiteness and mental illness kind of blend together. Makeda’s experiences at her new school and a girl scout troop were also blatantly racist, without any compensating non-racist encounters which I found disappointing.On the whole I found this worth reading — it felt authentic and certainly broadened my perspectives in a number of ways. I wish there had been a slightly more hopeful path at the end, but of course that is not the whole story.Thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on July 30th, 2019.
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    What an exceptional, powerful read! FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is a stunning debut by Mariama J. Lockington that is full of truth, hurt, and love. Told in beautiful, unreserved, thought-provoking language, readers will be glad to meet Keda—a smart, kind, eleven-year-old black adoptee in a white family. She is missing her best friend since her family moved across the country, wondering about her birth mother and how things might be if surrounded by people who look like her. Alternating in song, poet What an exceptional, powerful read! FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is a stunning debut by Mariama J. Lockington that is full of truth, hurt, and love. Told in beautiful, unreserved, thought-provoking language, readers will be glad to meet Keda—a smart, kind, eleven-year-old black adoptee in a white family. She is missing her best friend since her family moved across the country, wondering about her birth mother and how things might be if surrounded by people who look like her. Alternating in song, poetry, letters, and more, Mariama J. Lockington so honestly writes of the micro-aggression and racism that Keda bravely deals with, but it weighs heavy on her. Through listening to her favorite artists, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone, Keda finds comfort within the music and lyrics. Some of my favorite lines (and there are oh so many poetic gems) that I think perfectly encapsulates Keda’s emotional state of mind is in regards to the effect the women’s singing has on her: “Like we are speaking the same language. Like they know what it is to feel loved and lonely all at the same time.” Your heart will break for Keda and hang onto every word as she finds her own, strong voice and answers to her questions. This is a lyrical, important, and necessary book that needs to be shared far and wide with middle grade readers (and adults) of every race.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    It feels like I was granted a sneak peek into Keda’s life and her heart. Her story includes elements familiar to anyone coming of age—shifting relationships with friends and siblings, conflicted feelings about parents, and identity. But as Keda can’t escape, and others can’t seem to recognize, her identity feels more complicated than for the people around her. She is black and they are not. She is adopted and has unanswered questions about her birth mother. This book feels honest and real. So wh It feels like I was granted a sneak peek into Keda’s life and her heart. Her story includes elements familiar to anyone coming of age—shifting relationships with friends and siblings, conflicted feelings about parents, and identity. But as Keda can’t escape, and others can’t seem to recognize, her identity feels more complicated than for the people around her. She is black and they are not. She is adopted and has unanswered questions about her birth mother. This book feels honest and real. So when I read the things people said to Keda, I cringed. The variety of hurtful things that were sometimes kindly meant but ignorant, sometimes just plain ignorant and inconsiderate, and other times intentionally cruel gave me pause. The unwillingness of adults to recognize and protect Keda from it was especially disheartening. How many Kedas face these micro-aggressions and torment daily? How many times might I have made remarks that were hurtful despite no malice? ...And also, how could I do better in my own words and actions, but also in other ways, perhaps as an ally?This upper middle grade book will be a powerful one for opening eyes and hearts and conversations.
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  • Nita Creekmore
    January 1, 1970
    #kidlitexchange #partner Thank you to @kidlitexchange, @forblackgirlslikeme and @macmillankidsbooks for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own—Makeda is an African-American Girl who was adopted by a White family when she was very young. This is her story telling the struggles of trying to fit into a family with no one else who looks like her. In this novel, Makeda goes through trying times where some people treated her differently because she’s African-American and others making h #kidlitexchange #partner Thank you to @kidlitexchange, @forblackgirlslikeme and @macmillankidsbooks for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own—Makeda is an African-American Girl who was adopted by a White family when she was very young. This is her story telling the struggles of trying to fit into a family with no one else who looks like her. In this novel, Makeda goes through trying times where some people treated her differently because she’s African-American and others making her feeling like she’s not embracing her culture. She has to overcome many obstacles as well as family problems. She deals with her dad leaving every few weeks to go on tour, her mom, who struggles with mental health problems, and her sister treating her like she doesn’t exist and isn’t considerate of Makeda’s feelings. She has to deal with all of this while always wondering what it would be like to live in a family with people who looked like her. Throughout the book she answers the ongoing question, “How do I figure out where I’m going if I don’t know where I came from?” This book is for kids ages 12-16. The release date for this book is July 30, 2019.
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  • 3queensread
    January 1, 1970
    @kidlitexchange #partner Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.Makeda is black and was adopted into an all white family as a baby. She is in middle school and coming into an age where she is beginning to have questions about her birth mother and herself. Where do black girls like her belong? The ones with no other black friends around? The ones who's mother doesn't know how to properly do her hair or the type of lotion that she needs to @kidlitexchange #partner Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.Makeda is black and was adopted into an all white family as a baby. She is in middle school and coming into an age where she is beginning to have questions about her birth mother and herself. Where do black girls like her belong? The ones with no other black friends around? The ones who's mother doesn't know how to properly do her hair or the type of lotion that she needs to properly moisturize her skin?Who loves Black girls like her? Who's there for black girls like her when they want to know which way to turn. Makeda has a ton of questions that will resonate with young girls and women alike. Mekeda's life is a mess. Dealing with her mother's newfound mental illness, her dad being away on tour, her sister seeming not to have time with her because she's becoming a teen. It's just a lot for her but in the end she finds her voice. Please run out and grab this book when it is released on July 30, 2019.
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free review copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is a complex middle grade novel, mixing prose, verse, and social media posts to craft a story about a family in crisis. It is told from the perspective of Makeda, a Black girl who was adopted by a White family that has relocated from Baltimore to New Mexico—where no one looks like her. Makeda explores curiosity about her biological mom and experiences isolation, overt racism and microaggressions in I received a free review copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is a complex middle grade novel, mixing prose, verse, and social media posts to craft a story about a family in crisis. It is told from the perspective of Makeda, a Black girl who was adopted by a White family that has relocated from Baltimore to New Mexico—where no one looks like her. Makeda explores curiosity about her biological mom and experiences isolation, overt racism and microaggressions in her new town—all while her mother is in a state of crisis due to undiagnosed bipolar disorder and her dad is on a long international trip as a professional musician. With no one there to support her, Makeda struggles with understanding her identity in a world that doesn't always make sense.There is a lot going on here both in style and subject matter, and this one feels to me like it will best for readers on the older end of the MG age group, even bridging into younger YA readers.
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    I *really* enjoyed reading this debut novel. It’s a quick and mostly easy read, but has more depth than I originally thought it would (from reading the description). I don’t want to spoil it for readers, so I’ll just say I didn’t anticipate the difficult life situation that Keda ended up facing before starting the book. I think that part of the story is one that will pair well with those looking to discuss mental health with middle grade students. I certainly could have used this a few years ago I *really* enjoyed reading this debut novel. It’s a quick and mostly easy read, but has more depth than I originally thought it would (from reading the description). I don’t want to spoil it for readers, so I’ll just say I didn’t anticipate the difficult life situation that Keda ended up facing before starting the book. I think that part of the story is one that will pair well with those looking to discuss mental health with middle grade students. I certainly could have used this a few years ago with some high school students. I appreciate this book for opening my eyes to see the unexpected experiences of transracial adoptees. This coming of age story has appeal to different types of readers for sure, with Lockington’s blend of prose, Tumbler posts, and lyrics/poems. This book and Keda are special for sure.Thanks to #NetGalley #Macmillan (and FSG) and author Mariama Lockington for a digital galley. My review of the novel was not solicited by the author or publisher.
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  • Katie Reilley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an ARC of this #ownvoices book with our #bookexpedition group. A beautifully written story told in a variety of formats: through narrative prose, written letters, poems, and Tumblr posts, readers hear the story of Makeda (Keda), an eleven year old black girl struggling with her identity. As an infant, she was adopted into a white family, and though she loves them very much, she also feels left out. In addition, she’s dealing with a move across th Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing an ARC of this #ownvoices book with our #bookexpedition group. A beautifully written story told in a variety of formats: through narrative prose, written letters, poems, and Tumblr posts, readers hear the story of Makeda (Keda), an eleven year old black girl struggling with her identity. As an infant, she was adopted into a white family, and though she loves them very much, she also feels left out. In addition, she’s dealing with a move across the country for her father’s new job and discovering her mother’s mental illness. The short chapters and the way the chapter titles blended with the storytelling made this narrative even more engaging. It addresses many topics, including adoption, identity, family, and friendship. It’s perfect for readers with questions about their space in this world. Publishes July 30, 2019.
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  • Dede
    January 1, 1970
    For Black Girls Like Me is a great middle grade novel. I loved the inclusion of song lyrics and letters to Keda's best friend Lena. Ms. Lockington's descriptive language was a delight to read and helped bring Keda, her emotions, and the New Mexico landscape into focus. This book will spark some great discussions about racism even from those who don't intend harm, but it it not just a book about racism. Keda and her family also have to deal with mental illness and its affects on the entire family For Black Girls Like Me is a great middle grade novel. I loved the inclusion of song lyrics and letters to Keda's best friend Lena. Ms. Lockington's descriptive language was a delight to read and helped bring Keda, her emotions, and the New Mexico landscape into focus. This book will spark some great discussions about racism even from those who don't intend harm, but it it not just a book about racism. Keda and her family also have to deal with mental illness and its affects on the entire family. Many readers will find connections to the experiences that Keda goes through not just because of the color of her skin or her mother's illness, but also in navigating a new school and making friends. Thank you to the publisher and #NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Rebecca Balcárcel
    January 1, 1970
    Braided with songs and poetry, this story follows Keda's journey to know herself. With profound final lines and yes-that's-exactly-what-it's-like images, the prose poem chapters shine individually and collectively. Much in Keda's life is complicated, so she reaches for songs, gropes for her heritage, and digs for inner resources to cope. A few friends brighten her life, but when it comes to truly managing an unstable mother, a mostly-absent father, and a big sister who is less fun and also less Braided with songs and poetry, this story follows Keda's journey to know herself. With profound final lines and yes-that's-exactly-what-it's-like images, the prose poem chapters shine individually and collectively. Much in Keda's life is complicated, so she reaches for songs, gropes for her heritage, and digs for inner resources to cope. A few friends brighten her life, but when it comes to truly managing an unstable mother, a mostly-absent father, and a big sister who is less fun and also less nurturing than she used to be, Keda is on her own. Her love of Billie Holiday and the intuitional grasp she has of the Blues give her something to hold on to, but when her summer goes from bad to worse, Keda needs courage. Readers will cheer her on as she finds the strength to speak her own truth.
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