From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—This is a wonderful collection of 16 sensitive essays penned by young black women writers chronicling their personal encounters with love and with sexual awakening. Each true story depicts a special aspect of a young woman's growing awareness of her body, her sexuality, her capacity to love, and male/female relationships. All of the selections are tenderly told and meant to convey life lessons from the black, female perspective. In addition to the essays, the book includes a thumbnail sketch of each contributor and a listing of resources on sexuality, reproduction, and sexually transmitted diseases. These selections offer refreshing insights into adolescence and what it means to be a sexual being. And, although sex and sexuality are the focus of each story, there are no explicit descriptions. For those libraries seeking to enhance their health and human-development collections, this book should prove to be a valuable addition.—Carol Jones Collins, Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In this wild, frank, deeply personal collection, young black women share their stories of first sexual discovery and love. Some authors write of the powerful humiliation they inherited from their female relatives or that grew from experiences of molestation and abuse: "The shame clung to me coloring every choice I made." Many other authors discuss how the masturbation they discovered as teenagers lead them to make better choices later on, with others: "Knowing that in my own hands I have the power to control and manipulate my own body makes me expect more from a boy." One author struggles with differing notions of "mainstream beauty" and "the black worldview"; other authors talk about growing up with sexual feelings for women. In one refreshingly positive story, a woman warmly recounts when, as a teen, she first received oral sex from a tender boy. Highly explicit, generous, and filled with hopeful wishes, these stories will rivet young women of all colors and backgrounds who are exploring their sexuality and searching for themselves. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved