This book is so good! Mariama J. Lockington does an incredible job of writing about how Makeda takes on everything in her life with courage and creativity. If you’ve read the book, and are okay with spoilers, you can read my spoiler review here.
Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda’s family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena―the only other adopted black girl she knows―for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend.
Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me?
Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.
My Rating: 5 stars!
Mariama J. Lockington gives the characters in this story such interesting and diverse personalities! Here are a few of them:
Makeda is such an interesting character, with such a great personality! She is treated very unfairly a lot because she is black, but most of the time, she handles it well, and also in funny ways. On her first day, on of her teachers asks her where she’s from, she responds with here, because she is from the United States. Her teachers like I mean what country, and she’s like; I’m from America, y’all. She’s awesome.
Eve is Makeda’s older sister, and they sometimes fight, but she really cares about Makeda, and stands up for her. At the end of their first day of school a boy asks if Eve babysits Makeda, and Eve’s like; she’s my sister, we live in the same house; ever heard of that?
Lena is also is adopted, is black and has white parents, and she and Makeda are best friends. When Makeda moves away, they still send each other letters and communicate, which is awesome because Lena is so kind and supportive to Makeda.
By the way, none of those are direct quotes from the book, just my representations of the sisters snarkyness, if that’s even a word!
The plot of this book is all about Makeda. It follows how she deals with being treated differently because she is black in an almost entirely white and latino school. Even one of her teachers asks her where she is from on her first day, assuming she’s from another country, just because she’s black. Kids at her new school are so mean to her, and make so many assumptions about her just because she’s black. I have a lot more to say about this book, but that’s kind of impossible to do without a bunch of spoilers, so if you’re fine with that you can check out my spoiler review here.
Where I got this book/ How I found out about it:
A few months ago I saw an amazing review about it on another blog, Bookish Girl Magic, but I didn’t read it until my mom checked it out from the library, and I am so glad she did, because For Black Girls Like Me is now one of my favorite books!
Overall, this book is an incredible book that brings attention to what it can be like for a black girl growing up in a white family and mostly white community. Makeda is an incredible girl, and is so lucky to have a friend like Lena and a sister like Eve. Middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults alike with enjoy and benefit from reading For Black Girls Like Me.
What do you think about this book? Have you read For Black Girls Like Me? Do you agree with any of the points I’ve made? Chat with me in the comments below!