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Piecing Me Together
by Renée Watson


Overview -

A timely and powerful story about a teen girl striving for success in a world that too often feels like it wants to break her.

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way.  Read more...


 
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    Piecing Me Together (Paperback)
    Published: 2018-06-05
    Publisher: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
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More About Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
 
 
 
Overview

A timely and powerful story about a teen girl striving for success in a world that too often feels like it wants to break her.

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And 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. And just because Maxine, her college-graduate 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.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781681191058
  • ISBN-10: 1681191059
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
  • Publish Date: February 2017
  • Page Count: 272
  • Reading Level: Ages 13-UP
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.84 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Adolescence
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Girls & Women
Books > Juvenile Fiction > People & Places - United States - African-American

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-11-21
  • Reviewer: Staff

Jade Butler, an African-American artist-in-the-making, lives with her mother in Portland, Ore., and travels by bus to private school, where she is both grateful for and resentful of the opportunities presented to her. In short, poetic chapters, Jade ponders her family, school, and neighborhood relationships, wondering where she fits in: How I am someones answered prayer but also someones deferred dream. Watson (This Side of Home) weaves collage imagery throughout the story as Jade ruminates over historical figures such as York, the slave who traveled with Lewis and Clark, and distressing current events, including police violence against a neighborhood girl: I am ripping and cutting. Gluing and pasting. Rearranging reality, redefining, covering, disguising. Tonight I am taking ugly and making beautiful. Jades narrative voice offers compelling reflections on the complexities of race and gender, class and privilege, and fear and courage, while conveying the conflicted emotions of an ambitious, loyal girl. Teeming with compassion and insight, Watsons story trumpets the power of artistic expression to re-envision and change the world. Ages 12up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Feb.)

 
BookPage Reviews

A strong teen chases her magic

“And this makes me wonder if a black girl’s life is only about being stitched together and coming undone, being stitched together and coming undone.” The latest novel from Renée Watson captures the poignant story of a black teenage girl struggling to navigate a world that doesn’t appear to accept her.

Jade Butler lives in an impoverished area of Portland, Oregon, and is raised by a single mother who works tirelessly so that Jade can attend a prestigious private high school. There, Jade is given lots of opportunities, such as free SAT prep classes and tutoring jobs. When Jade is invited to participate in a mentorship program for African-American girls, she is disappointed. She’s tired of being selected for programs where the only criteria is being black and poor. She just wants to be nominated for the study abroad trip to Costa Rica, but it’s difficult to refuse these opportunities when so much is riding on her success.

Piecing Me Together is a beautifully written story told through the first-person narration of a girl who, despite being smart, strong and artistic, still feels like she has to overcome her race, gender and socio-economic status. This has as much to do with the actions of the adults in her life—as well intentioned as they may be—as it does with the undercurrent of racism and classism. There’s a lot to unpack here, and readers will finish the story with more questions than answers—a testament to the novel’s complexity and nuance.

This article was originally published in the February 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews