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The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond
by Brenda Woods

Overview - Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods' moving, uplifting story of a girl finally meeting the African American side of her family explores racism and how it feels to be biracial, and celebrates families of all kinds.
Violet is a smart, funny, brown-eyed, brown-haired girl in a family of blonds.
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More About The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods
 
 
 
Overview
Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods' moving, uplifting story of a girl finally meeting the African American side of her family explores racism and how it feels to be biracial, and celebrates families of all kinds.
Violet is a smart, funny, brown-eyed, brown-haired girl in a family of blonds. Her mom is white, and her dad, who died before she was born, was black. She attends a mostly white school where she sometimes feels like a brown leaf on a pile of snow. She's tired of people asking if she's adopted. Now that Violet's eleven, she decides it's time to learn about her African American heritage. And despite getting off to a rocky start trying to reclaim her dad's side of the family, she can feel her confidence growing as the puzzle pieces of her life finally start coming together. Readers will cheer for Violet, sharing her joy as she discovers her roots.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399257148
  • ISBN-10: 0399257144
  • Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
  • Publish Date: January 2014
  • Page Count: 222
  • Reading Level: Ages 8-12


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > People & Places - United States - African-American
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Family - Multigenerational
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Issues - Emotions & Feelings

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-10-28
  • Reviewer: Staff

Woods (Saint Louis Armstrong Beach) returns with the story of 11-year old Violet Diamond, who is struggling with her biracial identity; the novel handles big-picture topics well, but falters with its energy and authenticity. Violet is the daughter of an African-American father, who died in a car accident two months before her birth, and a white mother. Violet’s Seattle suburb is largely white, and Violet feels angry and confused by the puzzlement people display when they see her with her white family. Motivated by a dream about her father, Violet reaches out to cultivate a relationship with her paternal grandmother and her father’s family, whom she has never met. The subdued, meandering nature of the story and Violet’s overly formal voice can be difficult to connect to, but Woods deftly raises complex issues of race and identity and leaves them open for discussion: whether race matters, what makes a family, how it feels to be different, and what it means to be biracial. “To white people,” Violet thinks, “I’m half black. To black people, I’m half white.... Is that what I am, a percentage?” Ages 8–12. (Jan)

 
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