The Weight of Blood

HarperAudio. Sept. 2022. 1,055p. $27.99. ISBN 9780063029170.
Gr 9 Up–An astonishingly affecting cast (albeit uncredited with who-read-whom) magnificently enlivens Jackson’s stupendous homage to her “favorite movie of ALL TIME” (no spoilers). Here’s the basic story: Maddy Washington is raised white by her abusive white father, but she—and the rest of their little town—finds out she’s biracial, Black and white. Popular (white) Wendy feels sorry for all the bullying she’s never stopped and convinces her (Black) boyfriend Kenny to take Maddy to prom; Wendy and Kenny couldn’t go anyway because proms are still segregated in 2014! The book opens with a chilling podcast, “Maddy Did It,” which attempts to piece together what happened that fateful prom night; its enthralling episodes are interwoven throughout the mesmerizing 11 hours. Christopher Salazar is podcast host Michael—earnest, prodding, challenging. Sarah Mollo-Christensen as his series cohost, Tanya, is an ideal sidekick with a Sydney accent, clever timing, and doubtful exasperation; she’s also remarkable as manipulative, spoiled, rich, and racist Jules. Karen Malina White embodies frightened, simmering Maddy, and Kenny’s angry activist sister Kali. JD Jackson is superb as conflicted Kenny.
VERDICT Libraries should prepare for an onslaught of requests in every medium for what will surely be one of the most memorable, in-demand titles of the year.

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