“Imani Parks's voice introduces listeners to Makeda, an eleven-year-old black girl who was adopted by a white family as an infant. We listen to the challenges Makeda faces as her life is uprooted and she has to leave behind her best friend, Lena, the only other adopted black girl she knows, and also the only person who Makeda feels fully understands her. Things become more complicated when Papa leaves for the summer due to work, leaving Makeda and her older sister home with Mama, who we can hear in the strain of her voice is experiencing challenges of her own. Parks's narration has a youthful quality, convincingly capturing the wide range of emotions Makeda works through over the course of this tender coming-of-age story.”Stephanie, Print: A Bookstore
I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark.
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.
In this lyrical coming-of-age story about family, sisterhood, music, race, and identity, Mariama J. Lockington draws on some of the emotional truths from her own experiences growing up with an adoptive white family. For Black Girls Like Me is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do you figure out where you are going if you don't know where you came from?
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