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Posts tagged “bullying

Express Book Review: When The Black Girl Sings by Bil Wright

When the black girl sings

Lahni’s black but has white parents and is the only black girl at a mostly-white school. As her parents’ relationship crumbles,the bullies at school are bitchy, and a creepy guy starts following her around, she simultaneously starts going to church and hears gospel music for the first time. It turns out that Lahni has an amazing voice and the music and church inclusion (with other black people) starts to fill in something that was missing and changes everything…

This is a well-written book that was clearly created with an agenda (teen problem novel) and lots of love. As a reader I found myself rooting for Lahni the entire time– even if there wasn’t as much description to Lahni’s personality or background behind her singing that I would have hoped for. Still quite good though! Check it out!


Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park : a novel

When someone says “YA banned book” to me, they may as well be saying “Free Vegan Cookies.” I’m there. Eleanor and Park is the most recent I’ve read. The censors are upset because there’s cussing (mostly by “bad” characters) and a brief (and non-graphic) foray between the two main characters to “second base” (tightly followed by their verbalized mutual decision to not go further). I feel sorry for the censors’ children. And friends. And neighbors. And their children’s friends. And the children of the people who see a headline or skim an article and decide to agree with them. Because this book, like many other banned books, is actually pretty great.

I think I know what really makes the censors mad, and it’s not the cussing by the mean characters or the two (in-love) teenagers making out. The book accepts gender that isn’t always perfectly binary,and encourages readers to think critically about expectations of masculinity in America. Also, Eleanor and Park has frank descriptions of poverty and abuse that Eleanor experiences at home, and it’s kind of hard to read. The book also addresses everyday racism and racial stereotypes– and will probably make the purveyors of those stereotypes kinda uncomfortable.

Check this book out! I found that it started a little slow, but as a chapters went on, I became more and more invested in the two characters. By the end, I was making myself late to work because I just wanted to read one more page (and then another). The writing is quirky and maybe a little romantic, you can tell that the author had a smile on the edge of her lips as she ended so many of the chapters. I wanted the ending to be a little more romantic, but I think that realistic was a little more of what Rowell was going for.

Find a copy at the library!


Book Review: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass

This nice little book is a touch deeper and more realistic than other teen bullying novels that I’ve read.

Having just switched neighborhoods, Piddy Sanchez is in a new school. Early in the school year some girl comes up to her and says “Yaqui Delgado Wants To Kick Your Ass.” And walks away. She’s never even met Yaqui Delgado.

An initially seemingly misguided threat turns into an all-out teenage nightmare as Yaqui Delgado, who’s a student at her school, proceeds to make Piddy’s life miserable. Piddy goes from being an A-student to getting zeroes. Meanwhile, she’s also dealing with the issues of drifting away from her old best friend, clashing with her mom, identity, having a first kiss, trying to find out who her dad was, and dealing with negligence and institutional racism at her school.

The 260 pages of this book read really quickly, and the author doesn’t waste any space.

Find a copy at the Library!