The Black Girls Left Standing

Feiwel & Friends. Jul. 2022. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250792815.
Gr 10 Up–In this debut novel, Goodman explores the rage and injustice that follows Black girls. In Chicago, 16-year-old Beau’s older sister, Katia, is killed by an off-duty police officer and the only witness to the murder is Katia’s unreliable boyfriend, Jordan. Beau and her friend Sonnet decide they need to clear Katia’s name from that night and start a Twitter account to learn more about Katia’s life in the days leading up to the shooting. However, they learn more than they expected and uncover secrets about Katia, Jordan, and other members of the family. Now, Beau must decide what to share and what to keep hidden to protect those she loves. Her ultimate goal is for Katia to be remembered for more than this horrible event. Told through Beau’s strong, activist voice with unshakable clarity and insight, Goodman’s book explores the events just before and in the aftermath of the police-involved shooting. This work engages in tough dialogue with modern issues of policing of Black girls, social media, and violence in authentic ways.
VERDICT Great for teen readers and a good supplement to high school reading, this book adds to the modern canon of books about advocacy and activism.

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