Watson, Renee. Piecing Me Together
February 14th 2017 by Bloomsbury
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
This was a bit more YA than I had hoped; nothing inappropriate, just slow and message driven. More like This Side of Home than What Mama Left Me. Debating. I have one student who is an enormous fan of Watson's, and this was a fine book. I just don't know how many readers I'll have for it. I really do Love Watson's ability to make the city a character in the story.
"Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.
But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.
Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face."
Mancusi, Mari. Golden Girl
December 15th 2015 by Aladdin
Lexi is a snowboarder who has a good chance of making the US Olympic team... until she is badly injured in an accident during a race that she blames on Olivia, a mean girl in her exclusive sports school. Lexi recuperates with her mother in Florida and then returns to the school (where her father works), but finds it harder to get back into the swing of things than she thought. Her best friend, Becca, is hanging out with Olivia, and Lexi is more comfortable hanging out with the cute Logan and his friends in a band, Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who want Lexi to sing with them. There's a mystery as to how her accident happens that she needs to solve, and a lot of work to be done before Lexi can even figure out if her dream is still to make the Olympic team.
Strengths: There's a lot of good stuff here-- parents who are divorced but amicable, an exclusive boarding school, snow boarding, real but not horrible problems. The M!X series is hugely popular in my school, and I love that Mancusi has made this entry more Young Adult.
Weaknesses: While I like the cover, the cartoonishness might dissuade my 8th grade girls from picking it up.
What I really think: This is a great book about high schoolers that is told on a perfectly appropriate level for middle school students. Actually, this reminds me a LOT of Bety Cavanna's Angel on Skis from 1957, in the best possible way!