Piecing Me Together – Renee Watson Book Review

 

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Synopsis

Acclaimed author Renee Watson offers a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it’s trying to break her.

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn’t really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn’t mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She’s tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain, and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.

 

Queenie’s Review

High school junior Jade is an “at-risk” student from a rough neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. She is also a talented collage artist, and she attends an elite private school on scholarship. More than anything, she wants to go on a study abroad week offered at her school to use her Spanish skills. Instead, she is given an invitation to join Woman to Woman, a mentorship program for young women like her: poor and black.  Just because her mentor, Maxine is black and graduated from the same high school doesn’t mean she understands where Jade is coming from. Jade doesn’t see what she can learn from her. She’s tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain, and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference. But in spite of her early resistance to Maxine, Jade begins to open up and gain confidence, and, eventually, she is able to express the importance of her family, her community, and her art.

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