Piecing Me Together

Piecing Me Together

by Renée Watson


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2018 Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner

"Timely and timeless." —Jacqueline Woodson

"Important and deeply moving." —John Green

Acclaimed author Renee Watson offers a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it's trying to break her.

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She's tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.

NPR's Best Books of 2017

A 2017 New York Public Library Best Teen Book of the Year

Chicago Public Library's Best Books of 2017

A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017

Kirkus Reviews' Best Teen Books of 2017

2018 Josette Frank Award Winner

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681191072
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 9,191
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

RENÉE WATSON is the Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award-winning author of the novels Piecing Me Together, This Side of Home, What Momma Left Me, Betty Before X, co-written with Ilyasah Shabazz, and two picture books: Harlem's Little Blackbird and A Place Where Hurricanes Happen. Renée is the founder of I, Too, Arts Collective, a nonprofit committed to nurturing underrepresented voices in the creative arts. She lives in New York City.


@harlemportland (Instagram)

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Piecing Me Together 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Renee Watson did a great job with this book. She made it so that you felt bad about yourself and how she barely had anything in her life and we are very fortunate people who have a lot of things in our lives. It captured my attention and I had a hard time putting it down. It was about a girl in high school who struggled with racial issues and suffered through many things to try and be thought of the same way a everyone else. I would recommend this book to anyone who . The theme of this book was prejudice and throughout the book Jade figures out how to overcome it. One thing that I did not like about the book was that the chapters were way too short. It would get very interesting and then it stopped and went onto a new topic. Some of the chapters were only one or two pages long. Another thing that I disliked was that the mom was not in the story very much. I like how protective Jade’s mom was and it was a little disappointing that she was not in the book more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ilm 14 years old and i had to read this for a summer reading book. At first i thought i wouldnt like this book seeing it was based off of something involving history and etc. But throught out the middle of the book i found myself really enjoying it. Being African American i related alot with this book. It has inspired me, taught me things about life, and made me realize certain things. It taught me about how life is being an African American and even though things arent as bad as they used to be some things still remain in society (like stereotypes). I also learned that being black, or matter a fact being any race, you should you youre voice and mind to do things you want to and do things you want to inspire others. Even though there will b e,any difficulties in the way uou could do anything and stand up for what you believe in no matter what your background and race is. So i definetely recommend this book.
CandidCeillie More than 1 year ago
I received an eARC from the publisher, Bloomsbury US Children’s, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I had this book sitting on my computer for a while, and I sincerely regret not opening the file sooner. First of all, the cover is perfect. Seriously, scroll up and look at it. It’s perfect for this novel. Second of all, this book is the embodiment of the #blackgirlmagic tag, and I loved it. Piecing Me Together is a novel about Jade, an unapologetically black teenager, who is trying to find her voice and place in the world. Jade is brilliant and earned a full ride to a very expensive, very white private school. She’s also an amazing collage artist, which I loved, because that’s an art form I haven’t ever seen in books. I would like to add a trigger warning for mentions of police brutality. It doesn’t happen to any of our characters, but it’s mentioned and causes Jade a lot of distress. I loved that Jade was able to find herself, and change her world so that it was absolutely hers. I loved that she never lost her friendship with Lee Lee, and that Lee Lee was always there to build her back up when she needed it. I also want to talk about Sam – the only main white character in this story. Her grandmother is openly racist, and neither she nor her grandfather ever challenge it on page. There’s a really great moment near the end of the story that I think a lot of white readers will learn from, on how to respond when you see a friend experience a microaggression. I think the reading experience of Piecing Me Together will also help white folks to understand how it feels when something like that happens. It’s something we don’t experience as much, and certainly not in the same way. This book also featured fantastic black women of all sorts, talks about the challenges that black women and families face, and showed a way that teens can be active in social justice programs in their own ways. The ending of this book had me in tears, guys. I won’t tell you what happens, but it’s fantastic. This was a five star read for me, and I cannot recommend it any more highly.
snapbookreviews More than 1 year ago
Jade is a 16-year-old African American girl who lives in a low-income neighborhood and rides the city bus daily to her predominantly white, upper income private school. At the urging of her mom who works as a housekeeper, Jade takes advantage of every opportunity that the school offers her. When Jade's white guidance counselor funnels her into a mentoring program called Woman to Woman for "at risk" African American girls, Jade is offended but masks her feelings. As the top student in her Spanish class, Jade had deserved an invitation to attend a program where she could use her language skills to help children. Even her African American mentor disappoints. Missing meetings, accepting phone calls during their outings, and inadvertently highlighting their income differences. With the love and guidance of her no nonsense mom and best friend Lee Lee, Jade learns to expresses herself, speak uncomfortable truths, and confront those who make decisions about her. The stress of dealing with overt and covert racism and well-intentioned but unrecognized discrimination takes it's toll. Jade is exhausted by the daily deconstruction and reconstruction of her sense of self, like creating one of her collages. This story does not have romance or action; rather, the author let's us inside Jade's thoughts and feelings where we witness her determination to stay whole every day. This is where the empathy lies. Overt racism is easy to spot. Covert racism can be subtle and nuanced. Piecing Me Together shines a light on race, class, and even body image. The target audience is seventh through ninth grades. The prose is lyrical and a pure joy to read. Piecing Me Together has earned the following awards: NPR's Best Books of 2017 A 2017 New York Public Library Best Teen Book of the Year Chicago Public Library's Best Books of 2017 A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017 Kirkus Reviews' Best Teen Books of 2017 2018 Josette Frank Award Winner
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
I almost didn't review this because I read it so far after it came out, but then I realized no one was talking about this as much as they should have been. This fabulous debut discusses relevant topics and gives people a glimpse at what growing up as a black teen is like. Definitely something I should have read long ago. The thing I loved most about this book was the main character. She felt real because she walked into the story being timid and not speaking up for what she wanted. She finished it in the exact opposite manner. It was refreshing to see her grow as a person and find out so much more about herself. And to see it all coming together for her was the best part. I also actually really liked Watson's writing style. Although there wasn't really anything happening plot wise, I did enjoy listening to Jade's journey, solely because the writing style kept me captivated. I had to find out how things ended up for her. How things with Sam changed both her and Sam. This book has a quieter approach to police brutality and racism than some of the other books that came out, so maybe this one could be an introduction book used to ease students into learning about these topics. Hopefully more people will start talking about this one in these conversations more.
Suze-Lavender More than 1 year ago
Jade is taking the bus to go to private school every day. She studies with rich and privileged kids, but lives with a single mother who doesn't make much money. For Jade opportunities are scarce and when she gets them she needs to grab them with both hands. She's smart and artistic and does incredibly well at school, she regularly tutors others, but her achievements often go unnoticed. Jade has never been on holiday and a school trip would be a dream come true, but will she be invited? Jade's being pushed into the Women to Women mentorship program, but she doesn't feel her mentor is teaching her much. However, if Jade wants to learn from her mentor she might have to share her thoughts. Jade needs to find her voice, so other people will hear her. Maybe if she speaks up she will finally be understood and get the chances she so longs to have? Will she ever be able to find out who she is and where she fits into the world, can she fit all the pieces of her personality together to make a beautiful whole like the collages she makes? Piecing Me Together is a beautiful strong story. Jade doesn’t feel seen or heard by anyone. She’s from a poor neighborhood, going to a private school where nobody seems to understand her. Jade doesn’t have many friends because of this, which is a fantastic thought-provoking topic for a story. She can totally lose herself in her art and this talent put a big smile on my face. Renée Watson describes her creations in such a stunning vivid way that it makes them pop off the pages of the book. Even though Jade’s being given opportunities, she isn’t happy with everything she’s being made part of and she’s absolutely right about that too. Jade is being asked for the Women to Women mentorship program. At first Jade feels smaller because of this program, but slowly she starts to find her voice and she grows into someone who can stand up for herself, which was such an amazing process to witness. Renée Watson has a fantastic engaging writing style. I was captivated by her story from beginning to end. I really enjoyed reading about Jade's personal development. While she is used to running away from her problems she’s learning to solve them, to demand to be heard and seen instead. I absolutely loved that. I also liked the dynamics between Jade and her mentor, the way Jade lets her know how she feels and voices her opinions. Jade is smart, articulate and talented and when she lets people know how she feels she finally gets her results. It takes a lot of courage to do this and that is what I admired the most about this book, Jade’s journey to find that courage within herself and using it for others who need it as well. I love stories about strong girls and think Renée Watson has done a brilliant job with this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just lovely. This book is a thoughtful, empathetic, beautifully written portrait of its main character, Jade. It tackles racism, microaggressions, mother-daughte relationships, friendship, art and creativity, and more. Jade is a great character, and her voice and her struggles felt 100 percent real to me. This book is really special.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just lovely. This book is a thoughtful, empathetic, beautifully written portrait of its main character, Jade. It tackles racism, microaggressions, mother-daughte relationships, friendship, art and creativity, and more. Jade is a great character, and her voice and her struggles felt 100 percent real to me. This book is really special.
Thomas Haigh More than 1 year ago
This book was full of detail information about the differences between lifestyle of rich and poor. Jade lives in the poorer side of town but her mentor live in the richer part. They meet up often and the author compared the differences in their lives. Jade goes to a rich school but she's there on scholarship so many people look down on her because she is poor. The author outs great detail into presenting the difference between Jade and her friends. In my opinion this is a very good book and a quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 13 years old and I was required to read this book during the summer. When I first read the inside cover, I was very skeptical if I was going to enjoy this book because I knew I could not relate to the main character, Jade. Our lives have practically no similarities. I expected this book to be about the life of Jade and the aspects of her life at home and probably at school. As I continued to read, I realized she didn't fit in very well at her private high school, St. Francis because of her race. She lives in a rather squalid part of North Portland, Oregon. Jade and her mother are very poor. It makes me reflect on my life to see how fortunate I am even more, compared to her. However, she attends St. Francis High School where she is one of the few minorities. She does not quite fit in because of her race and because she is poor. To open up opportunities she is suggested to join the Woman to Woman project by her school guidance counselor. What she learns is to be confident; not letting opinions get the best of her, and to express herself. The underlying theme in this book is racial profiling. There was an incident when a clerk asked her to relinquish her purse to prevent her from stealing. I gave this book three stars because I wish I could relate more to the character. I hoped to deeply understand her troubles as well as her positive moments. My favorite part was understanding the messages or themes Renee Watson conveyed throughout this book: not to let others' opinions disprove your beliefs about yourself, and to never be afraid to let your voice be heard.