FICTION

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Jan. 2019. 416p. ed. by Zoboi, Ibi. $17.99. ISBN 9780062698728.
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Gr 9 Up—A compilation of short stories that offers unique perspectives on what it means to be young and black in America today. Each entry is deftly woven and full of such complex humanity that teens will identify with and see some of their own struggles in these characters. In Leah Henderson's "Warning: Color May Fade," a prep school girl examines the cost of being and remaining invisible in a world carefully crafted to exclude her. Two girls take the peer pressure of naked selfies and turn it on its head in "Girl, Stop Playing" by Liara Tamani. A group of young black boys dream up food creations heavily influenced by the flavors of other cultures in "The Ingredients" by Jason Reynolds. This collection presents the beauty of black humanity in all its many forms. The teens in these tales are dealing with mental health issues, complicated family dynamics, sexuality and gender constraints, and being part of a marginalized group. The entries offer a rich tableau of the black teen diaspora in an accessible way.
VERDICT A great volume for all libraries serving young adults.

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