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Black, White, Other: In Search of Nina Armstrong Hardcover – August 27, 2011
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Like the current U.S. president, Nina Armstrong is biracial. Unlike him, the character is a teenager, and her black father, Silas, and white mother, Maggie, have decided to divorce. Nina lives with Maggie, a lefty whose family roots are in union organizing; her little brother, Jimi, lives with his dad, who is busy rediscovering his African-American roots, which include an enslaved great-grandmother Sarah, whose story Silas is writing. Nina is emotionally, socially, and historically conflicted: who is she, and whose is she? She’s got white friends and black friends who inhabit different peer worlds, and the family tension shapes everything. Lester (Fire in My Soul) conjures a credible plot and complications; divorce is a fact of life and racially mixed heritage is conspicuously becoming one. The simple contrapuntal narrative of Sarah Armstrong’s escaping slavery distinguishes the book emotionally and psychologically, raising it above other issue-oriented YA novels. Lester writes with social sensitivity and an ear for teen language and concerns. This is engaging treatment of a challenging subject that comes with little precedent. (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
'The tenderness and truth of [Black, White, Other] moved my heart. As well as the enormous love [Joan Lester] has…' -- Alice Walker, Author
Top customer reviews
I am giving all of my Grandchildren a copy. This book should be require reading in schools for every girl and boy, biracial or not. It would open up some positive discussions on the subject. Just about everyone in the U.S. is biracial but do not appear to be. I have three sons who are biracial. Caucasian, African American, Native American. They do not look biracial. I just had my "Genetic Profiling" done and discovered I am also biracial. By a good margin. Caucasion & African American. I had no idea.
I am looking forward to reading more novels from this author.
Most recent customer reviews
As a biracial teen, Nina is accustomed to a life of varied hues—mocha-colored skin, ringed brown hair streaked with red, a...Read more