Finding Yvonne

by Brandy Colbert

Yvonne, a high school senior raised by her father, an African American chef, thought... read more

Yvonne, a high school senior raised by her father, an African American chef, thought college would be a music school, but her (former) private violin teacher has made clear Yvonne isn’t good enough, and she knows it’s true. Her orchestra teacher says there are other careers in music besides performance, while her dad’s mentor thinks she has talent as a baker. Yvonne is also in love, she thinks, with Warren, her dad’s 21-year-old sous chef, although they’ve taken things slowly, because he works with her dad and because she isn’t yet 18. Then she meets Omar, a busker, attracted to his joy in music, his spontaneity, and his seemingly carefree life. The week Yvonne turns 18, she ends up sleeping with both Warren and Omar; not long after she discovers she’s pregnant. She can’t imagine telling her dad, while she already thinks her best friend judges her for choosing to have sex, a fact about which Yvonne is unapologetic. A novel that is complex and nuanced features characters that are genuine at every turn. Yvonne is smart but she’s not a prodigy at music or baking or life. She is trying to figure things out, and learning to ask for and give honesty and emotional accountability in all of her relationships. By story’s end, which includes a frank discussion of abortion, one thing she’s certain of is being surrounded by love. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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