There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant — even her own family. #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house; when your dad is a gambling addict, eviction is a regular occurrence. What's not so regular is that this time they all don't have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. It's not that Genesis doesn't like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight. Still, Genesis actually likes her new school; she's made a couple friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and she even encourages Genesis to join the talent show.
But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again? This deeply sensitive and powerful debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.
"With smooth and engrossing prose, debut novelist Williams takes readers through an emotional, painful, yet still hopeful adolescent journey. Along the way she references accomplished black activists, athletes, artists, and, notably, musicians such as Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Etta James, all in a way that feels natural and appropriate. This book may bring readers to tears as they root for Genesis to finally have the acceptance she craves — but from herself rather than anyone else. It’s a story that may be all too familiar for too many and one that needed telling." — Kirkus Reviews
|10 - 13
|Alicia D. Williams
|Jan 15, 2019
|Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
|Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King Award