For Black Girls Like Me

Hardcover

In this lyrical coming-of-age story about family, sisterhood, music, race, and identity, Mariama J. Lockington draws on some of the emotional truths from her own experiences growing up with an adoptive white family.

I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark.

Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena— the only other adopted black girl she knows— for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend.

Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me?

Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.

For Black Girls Like Me is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do you figure out where you are going if you don’t know where you came from?

Mariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, writer, and nonprofit educator. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore short-alls and flower leggings every day to school. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Buzzfeed News Reader, and she is the author of the poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter. Mariama holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry from San Francisco State University. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her partner and dapple haired dachshund, Henry.

  •   *A Today Show Best Children's Book of 2019!*
  • *The Guardian Best Book of 2019!*
  • *A Bank Street Best Book of the Year!*
  • + Many Many more 

"Achingly honest, and so well-observed, FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is like the most haunting blues song: lyrically rendered, heartbreaking, a wail of a novel that will offer young people and adults alike hope in the fact that we are not alone in our pain." National Book Award Winner of THE POET X, Elizabeth Acevedo

Lockington's middle grade debut is a gorgeous, tender depiction of a young Black girl seeking the space to thrive . . . the versatility of its style and structure means this novel could be used in many group discussions centering topics from transracial adoption to genre-blending literature. VERDICT An -essential purchase for all collections. -- School Library Journal, starred review

An outstanding middle grade debut . . . With intimate authenticity, she explores how fierce but "colorblind" familial love can result in erasure and sensitively delineates the pain of facing casual racism, as well as the disconcerting experience of being the child of a mentally ill parent. -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

 





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