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Posted July 28, 2011
Embrace your Otherness in this A+ read
BLACK, WHITE, OTHER In Search of Nina Armstrong By Joan Steinau Lester Fifteen year old Nina Armstrong's world is all topsy turvy. Her parents are no longer together. She lives with her mother who's white and her brother Jimi lives with their father who's black. Suddenly Nina's friends are trying to make her choose who she'll be friends with. Will she choose black or will she choose white? Who will she identify with? Or will she do as Saundra told her and embrace her otherness and live with everyone? As Nina discovers her great-great grandmother Sarah Armstrong, through her father's research, will she discover herself as well? At 15 Sarah, whose own family was shattered by slavery, makes an escape to freedom, will she help Nina break the bonds of fear. Black, White, Other is an engaging read that would be beneficial to most teens. As Nina learns the truth about herself she takes readers on a journey of self-discovery. Are you only the skin you are born in? Or is your true self hidden beneath waiting from you to discover it? At the end of Black, White, Other there are discussion questions, a follow-up actions section, a glossary of terms, and a list of sources. As Nina's mother said race is "not real" we are all one race, the human race! Advanced Reader Copy provided by Z Street Team reviews
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Posted October 14, 2011
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED-Extraordinary Novel for Our Times
This novel by Dr. Joan Steinau Lester is appropriate for both teens and adults. She weaves a contemporary story about a biracial fifteen year old girl--Nina Armstrong--around an historical tale: Nina's then-fifteen year old great-great-grandmother, Sarah Armstrong. The two stories parallel each other beautifully, as both teens face troubles--Sarah's much more severe in 1853 Hanover County, Virginia, where she is enslaved on a tobacco plantation before she flees north. Nina, who is on a tough journey of identity ("Who am I? Black, white, or other?") finds inspiration in the story of her ancestor. I cried when I came to resolution of both stories. This is both great storytelling and fabulous inspiration about finding one's own path through life, no matter one's challenges. Nina comes out with some creative solutions and an expanded sense of the possibilities for her to lead "a big life," as an adult mentor promises her. Could not recommend more highly.
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Posted January 13, 2012