Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman

Crown. Feb. 2022. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593309155.
Gr 9 Up–If the title does not motivate students to pick up this book, the premise is sure to. In this novel, readers meet Savannah, a young Black woman who has been accepted to an elite college as one of the top students in her graduating class. However, she has her heart set on attending an HBCU (historically Black college and university), but her mother insists that the more prestigious Ivy-like school is best. When Savannah sets foot on Wooddale University’s campus, she faces microaggressions from her classmates. The conflict hits a peak when a statue of a Black former student is vandalized. Savannah decides she must step up and advocate for the school to change its policies and procedures to make the environment safer for all students. Combining advocacy, social media, and representation, Lee has created a masterpiece for high school and early college readers. Young adults will admire Savannah’s voice and tenacity and see themselves as changemakers in her story.
VERDICT Highly recommended. This is a fast-paced, plot-driven novel that tackles topics of racism, elitism, and intersections of those and other concerns of college freshman.

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