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See No Color

by Shannon Gibney

Published by Carolrhoda Lab, 2015
186 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4677-7682-0

Age 13 and older

Alex(andra) is a biracial teen who was adopted by white parents as a very young child. She looks Black but has never interacted with Black kids at her high school, who disdain her for acting white. Her family is hesitant and ill-equipped to talk about race (you’re only “half black” her father says, and she assumes he’s trying to minimize her Blackness as if there is something wrong with it). Then she discovers her African American birth father wrote her a series of letters her parents have never showed her. At the same time, she starts dating a Black boy she’s met through baseball. She’s angry her parents withheld the letters, and is happy with her boyfriend, Reggie, but is unable to be completely honest with him about her complicated identity struggles. A book with some unforgettable moments (like Alex’s discovery that she was considered a special needs adoption, and therefore cheaper, because she is mixed-race) excels at exploring Alex’s confusion and complexities surrounding race and identity. Alex’s introduction into aspects of Black culture range from humorous to poignant, while her need to feel under-stood is heartrending and profound. Her family’s love for her and hers for them is never in doubt, but it doesn’t change her struggle in this honest and ground-breaking novel.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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