Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson, Bloomsbury (February 2017).
I’m a huge fan of Anne Bogel from Modern Mrs. Darcy. When I discovered her back in the early winter, I felt like I had finally found a kindred spirit. I joined the Modern Mrs. Darcy (MMD) Book Club in January, and since then, I’ve read some of the most enjoyable books (This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel was our February selection, and is my favorite book this year…so far). I was almost counting sleeps until her Summer Reading Guide came out last week, and I have yet to be disappointed by one of her picks.
Our May selection is the YA novel Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson. I just finished it last night, and I was so impressed. It tell the story of Jade, a Black teenager, who attends a predominantly white high school. Jade comes from a poor neighborhood, with a mom who does her best to provide while working long hours, but wants more for Jade than she had. Jade is a smart girl, and wants desperately to have an opportunity to be part of the study abroad program at school. But instead, Jade gets an selected for the Woman to Woman, an organization that provide mentorship for African American girls.
There’s been a lot of talk this year about The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, a book I loved and often recommend, which also deals with racial issues confronting American teenagers. What I enjoyed about Piecing Me Together was the positive role models and opportunities offered Jade. I love that she was able to find someone who cared and wanted to help her, although her mentor, Maxine, often didn’t know how to go about providing it. It felt honest, and realistic, and I felt I learned something when I finished it.
I highly recommend the MMD Bookclub if you’re looking to join an online group of book lovers, and I’d definitely suggest you check out the Summer Reading Guide, (because, as Anne says, summer is too short to read bad books).
I look forward to our discussion of this book later this week.