Patina

by Jason Reynolds

Patina lives with her white aunt and African American uncle, who’ve adopted... read more

Patina lives with her white aunt and African American uncle, who’ve adopted Patina and her younger sister. Patina’s dad died when she was younger, and her mom’s health has made it impossible for her to care for Patina and her sister, although she’s still very much a part of their lives. Patina has recently started attending a private school, and feels no connection to the other girls in her class, who are all white and upper class. She’s much more comfortable with the three other African American girls on her 4 x 800 relay track team, but both social groups require careful navigation and complex cultural competence. Patina slowly gets to know one of her classmates while working on a school project with three other girls. Finding a way for their group to work together both parallels and contrasts the teamwork she is learning on the track team, where she’s discovering that there is a middle ground between holding out and giving in that can be a sweet spot of synchronicity. There’s a great deal of depth and heart in this appealing, often humorous, story about the day-to-day life of an African American girl. Fans of Ghost will appreciate encountering Ghost and other members of the track team, here serving in secondary roles as Patina’s life takes center stage. (Ages 8-12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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