Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim

Beacon. Oct. 2019. 240p. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9780807012628;.
Gr 9 Up–Vernon, a plus-size model, blogger, and activist who focuses on intersectionality and self-acceptance, documents the struggles and triumphs she faced as she grew into loving herself. With her sharp, staccato writing style and no-holds-barred attitude, Vernon chronicles the ways she’s been made to feel unacceptable and then rips those standards to shreds with intelligent humor and positivity. She guides readers through her love/hate relationship with her religion and her body; and while her insistence on her own self-worth and individuality throughout the narrative is inspiring, she doesn’t rely on platitudes or easy answers. It’s clear that Vernon’s secret to success is fighting hard and working harder. The book’s overall tone is uplifting and ends on a high note. The true joy Vernon finds in fashion, styling, and modeling is made clear in the final chapters, and readers will head straight to her Instagram if they aren’t established fans. Tough topics like mental illness, domestic violence, and abortion are covered unflinchingly, with a frankness that will appeal to older teens. Mature themes and language might make this a hard sell for parents but will only add to the appeal for high schoolers.
VERDICT Recommended for high school and public libraries. While the book may be a better fit for adults due to the focus on Vernon’s marriage, divorce, and her career, it would certainly appeal to high school readers.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 6000+ annual reviews of books, databases, and more

As low as $12/month