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I am a TK-8 librarian in a Catholic school. I hear from a lot of parents who want books that discuss culturally-relevant themes in an age-appropriate way. I also hear from a lot of parents who believe a child should read whatever they want, whenever they way. Most librarians take the latter approach. I sit somewhere in the middle, and I am confident Piecing Me Together is one book both sides of the fence will enjoy.
- Best Book (Teen) of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews
- Best Book (Teen) of 2017 by School Library Journal
- Newbery Honor, 2018
- Coretta Scott King Award, 2018
- Josette Frank Award, 2018
Piecing Me Together explored themes of race, class, gender, and body image in a way that was compelling for a wide range of ages. I linked to solid reviews above. Older teenagers may wish for a love interest, but I feel the book is better for its absence. There is something to be said about a teenage girl who is working on herself, for herself. I rarely give a book five stars, but Piecing Me Together gets one from me today.
One final note. I know Piecing Me Together was back on the bestseller’s list and several book lists in a well-intentioned effort by some to make their reading selections more diverse. If you do buy the book, please read it, don’t just take a picture of it and slap it into an Instagram story. Then, when the trend to buy books written by people of color fades (for some, it is a trend, and it will fade), please keep buying, reading, and sharing these authors. By limiting our reading to only what we know, we are missing so much, and by limiting our reading to only what is trendy, we are missing even more. I saw some influencers/”avid readers” put Toni Morrison on their list in June and, honestly, if someone is only just now in the year 2020 reading Toni freaking Morrison, they need to rethink how avid a reader they are. Morrison won a Pultizer for Beloved (1987) and the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature (1993). The awards alone should have been enough to attract any avid reader’s attention decades ago.