crowyhead, May 1, 2007 (view all comments by crowyhead)
Maleeka Madison is a seventh grader with a host of problems: she's poor and her mother sews her clothes, she's teased for her skin color, which is very dark, and her "friends" are really just popular girls who are taking advantage of her. When she meets Miss Saunders, a new teacher with a huge white birthmark on her face, she is at first resistant to the teacher's attention and praise. However, when Miss Saunders gives Maleeka a long-term writing assignment, Maleeka gradually begins to find her own voice and recognize her own beauty.
The lessons that the reader's meant to take from the book aren't exactly subtle, but the writing is excellent, and the voices of Maleeka and the other middle school kids are very true to life. Also, it's interesting to see a YA novel that addresses the prejudice and teasing that darker-skinned black women sometimes encounter -- it's not something that comes up very often in the other YA novels I've read.
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Kat_lunatic, January 15, 2007 (view all comments by Kat_lunatic)
When I read this book I realized that Maleeka is so much like me when I was in elementary. I was taunted as a child because my skin was "too dark". But this book gave me hope. I changed my attitude and I started loving the skin I was in. This is a great book for a child to read when they've lost all hope and their self-esteem is low.
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