Hi everyone, it’s Sarah!
I was so excited to read this book. I absolutely loved Draper’s previous novel, Out of My Mind, and couldn’t wait to see what was next. I scoured BEA, but couldn’t get an ARC. However, after coming home, I found the eARC on Edelweiss. I was super excited to read it and I wasn’t disappointed.
Isabella, or Izzy to her mom, is caught between many worlds. Not only must she switch from one parent’s house to the other’s from week to week, but she feels caught between races because her mother is white and her father is black. Izzy always feels caught between her parents, while she loves them both and they love her, they can be downright nasty towards each other. In addition to a tumultuous home life, Isabella is going through the typical growing pains of being a middle schooler, from boys to friends, and pressure to perform perfectly at her upcoming piano recital. All of the racial issues surrounding Izzy come to a head, when she and her step brother are stopped by the police.
This is an excellent response to the issues going on within our society right now. Children find themselves in environments where they must code switch between races and homes. Many children will relate to the struggles of Isabella, and they will find an understanding friend in her and this book. The story really isn’t about police brutality and Black Lives Matter, it is a very small portion of the novel. However, the novel does address many microaggressions that occur day-to-day and are things that every reader will be familiar with, whether they are on the receiving end or creating these instances.