A valuable, necessary, and accessible book. Kiely has an easy-going manner and presents ideas that could be abstract, academic theory through relatable anecdotes and stories, more often than not about himself when he was a teenager. It reads quickly and directly addresses young white readers without confrontation or shaming, encouraging listening, empathy, and a sense of responsibility (instead of guilt). Highly recommended.
Reviews by Tag: race
The Vanishing Half is set in the 20th century and follows the lives of twins--Desiree and Stella--born into a colorist town named Mallard. As the twins split ways, each to her own adventures, they both share their own unique stories and reveal the trauma involved with their youth. However, despite their differences and their split, they always manage to find each other. This book does a great job of showing aspects of internal discrimination within a community, whether it be race or gender.
In If You Come Softly, Jeremiah and Ellie are seen by society to be on opposite poles, however through clashing events, their worlds collide. Ellie, a Jewish American girl is learning of Jeremiah’s African American culture. During that time, they are faced with backlash from others that continuously attempt to separate them. Despite this, the pair manages to fall in love and become an interracial couple. Across many obstacles, the pair still believes that they fit perfectly in each other’s worlds.
This coming-of-age novel is about Steve Harmon, a sixteen-year-old teenager, who is on trial for allegedly murdering a drugstore owner during a failed robbery. He challenges the assumption that he must be a Monster because he is an African-American male on trial for murder. In order to cope and redefine his identity, he distances himself from others and journals his experiences in the form of a screenplay.
LaToya goes to a mostly white school. She has no friends and even the other black kids make fun of her. One night she prays to be anything but black, and she wakes up with white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. Then the real fun begins in this journey of self-discovery that takes shocking and hilarious twists and turns.
All American Boys is a big-issue book that also makes an excellent character study. Rashad, a sixteen-year-old African-American boy, is the victim of police brutality. Quinn, a sixteen-year-old white boy, is a witness to Rashad's beating. These two guys live in the same city and go to the same school. Quinn plays on the same basketball team as some of Rashad's friends. And yet they barely know each other.
The House You Pass on the Way is a short novel--less than 100 pages--but it contains unusual depth and beauty. It's a pre-sexual love story about two fourteen-year-old cousins who don't yet know where they fit in. One girl, Staggerlee, is biracial--black and white. One girl, Trout, is adopted. Both girls are struggling with their budding sexuality. Are they gay? Are they straight? Does it matter?
Micah live in New York City and attends a fancy private school, she is on scholarship. She lives with her parents in a small apartment and she doesn't seem to have a lot of friends. The drama starts when a boy from school, Zach is found murdered in Central Park. Micah, who narrates the story, says she barely knew Zach, just had a few classes with him but as the story goes on it is uncovered that Micah and Zach were actually secretly dating, secretly because Zach was actually dating another girl.