for Piecing Me Together
by Renée Watson
Jade misses going to school with neighborhood friends but the private school she attends on scholarship offers an international volunteer opportunity. This year she hopes to be chosen. In the meantime, Jade’s school counselor encourages her to participate in a community-based mentoring program for African American girls. Jade is paired with Maxine, an African American alum of her school. Meanwhile Jade’s classmate Sam—whom she gets to know because they both ride the bus, a rarity—has never stepped foot in Jade’s neighborhood. It all has Jade thinking about how people perceive her, and her community. Then she isn’t chosen for the volunteer trip to Costa Rica, despite tutoring fellow students in Spanish. The reason? Jade already participates in the mentoring program and her teacher feels other students deserve opportunities, too. Jade’s frustration is further fueled by the assault of a young Black woman by police in a nearby community. For Jade, the beating is too close, too personal, intensifying her sense of disquiet and disconnect with her school community, including Sam. Why, she finally challenges her teacher, her counselor, her mentor, does everyone assume because she is poor and Black that she needs help and “opportunities” but has nothing to offer, something to give? This vivid, poignant novel features singular characters; complex, authentic relationships; and a young woman voicing a critical truth. (Age 13 and older)
© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018
Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner
New York Times bestseller
"Timely and timeless." --Jacqueline Woodson
"Important and deeply moving." --John Green
Acclaimed author Renee Watson offers a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it's trying 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 Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She's tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.
NPR's Best Books of 2017
A 2017 New York Public Library Best Teen Book of the Year
Chicago Public Library's Best Books of 2017
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017
Kirkus Reviews' Best Teen Books of 2017
2018 Josette Frank Award Winner
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.