I’m From

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Sept. 2023. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063089969.
K-Gr 2–In a book that comes right from the heart, Gray explores a young Black boy’s experience during a typical day in his neighborhood. Readers meet the unnamed main character as he is waking up to get ready for school. Throughout the day he plays with friends, attends classes, and heads to the local shop for candy. Though an uneventful day, there is an underlying message about the struggles that Black children encounter in their everyday lives. Various classmates question his voice for not sounding “Black” enough and assume he is a good basketball player. The story really shines when the boy is home with his family, where his culture is accepted, validated, and celebrated. Mora’s beautiful illustrations enhance the view of the hero’s environment and experiences. Although the focus of this book is on a Black family, children of all ethnicities and gender identities will be able to relate to the main character feeling out of place for something that outwardly casts him as “different” from others.
VERDICT A beautiful, simple look into one child’s typical experience that all readers can learn from and relate to.

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