“A simple story exploring the feelings of a mixed heritage child who begins to notice the physical differences between her mother’s features and her own. One day, Izzy notices that her skin looks different from her mama’s. “Mama,” exclaims Izzy. “We don’t match! You’re sand, and I’m chocolate.” Then Izzy realizes that her hair has big swirls and curls that jump out from her braids, while her mama’s hair is smooth and straight with a braid that hangs right down the middle of her back. At first, Izzy is sad that she looks so different from her mama. She only sees the beauty in her mother’s features, and not in her own. But using a gentle refrain, her mama lovingly tells her You’re part of me, and I’m part of you. I’m beautiful like me, and you’re beautiful like you. And with time and encouragement, Izzy comes to realize that beauty and belonging come in all shapes and sizes”–
Phoebe half Jamaican, half French-Canadian hates her school nickname of “French Toast.” So she is mortified when, out on a walk with her Jamaican grandmother, she hears a classmate shout it out at her. To make things worse, Nan-Ma, who is blind, wants an explanation of the name.
Black, white, and everything in between . . . Through poems, interviews, and short essays, a group of young people describe being biracial, multiracial, or of mixed race. These poignant firsthand accounts reflect the unique and varied voices of the writers, whose backgrounds range from Caribbean, Vietnamese, and Latin American to Native American, Spanish, and Irish, among others. With devastating honesty, these youth tell what it’s been like to make their way in the world with their roots in many places and in many cultures. Themes include navigating mixed-race relationships, dealing with prejudice and the assumptions people make based on appearances, and working through identity confusion to arrive at a strong and positive sense of self. Includes a section with suggestions for parents and caregivers who are raising children of mixed race.
A child who is only part Native American is troubled by his mixed racial heritage.
Twelve-year-old Tracy–or Tuyet–has always felt different. The villagers in Vietnam called her con-lai, or “half-breed,” because her father was an American GI. And she doesn’t fit in with her adoptive family in California, either. But when Tracy and a friend discover a soldier’s dogtag hidden among her father’s things, it sets her past and her present on a collision course. Where should her broken heart come to rest? In a time and place she remembers only in her dreams? Or among the people she now calls family?
Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California.
Miriam the baker is beloved in her village. Every day she bicycles to work and saves her favorite cinnamon bread for last, singing as she kneads spices into the dough. The scents and songs attract fellow bicyclist Sebastian, and he falls head over handlebars for Miriam. After marrying, their domestic bliss is disrupted when their beautiful new baby begins to cry continuously. What finally placates the fussy infant? The sounds and smells of Miriam making a batch of cinnamon bread. Many children will welcome the beside-the-point depiction of a multicultural family: Miriam is paper white, Sebastian is cocoa brown, and their cinnamon-colored child gives the title a sly double meaning. A charming offering infused with warmth, romantic whimsy, and love
Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. She loves singing to her two baby brothers, Double and Trouble. But when she is chosen to sing for her school in front of the president, her throat runs dry and her bones turn to stone. Can Double and Trouble save her?
An appealing story about a mixed-race family learning to accept different traditions and customs. Alvina has two grannies: Grannie Vero from Trinidad and Grannie Rose from England. When Alvina’s parents go on vacation, both grannies arrive to look after Alvina. But the two grannies have two very different ideas about what to eat, what to play, even what stories to tell. The grannies get angrier and angrier with each other, but Alvina devises a plan so that each granny can have her own way — or so she hopes! This sweet, funny story about tolerance and understanding reminds children that no matter how great the differences may seem, there’s always room for common ground.
Frankie Towers has always looked up to his older brother, Steve, and with good reason. Steve is a popular senior who always gets what he wants: girls, a soccer scholarship, and–lately–street cred. Frankie, on the other hand, spends his time shooting off fireworks with his best friend Zach, working at his parents’ restaurant, and obsessing about his longtime crush, Rebecca Sanchez.
Frankie has reservations about Steve’s crusade to win the respect of the local cholos. He doesn’t think about them, though, until he gets into a fist fight John Dalton – the richest, preppiest kid in his New Mexican high school, and longtime nemesis of Steve. After the fight, Steve takes Frankie under his wing – and Frankie’s social currency begins to rise. The cholos who used to ignore him start to recognize him; he even lands a date to Homecoming with Rebecca.
The situation with Dalton continues to simmer, and after another incident Steve is bent on retaliating. Frankie starts to think that his brother is taking this respect thing too far. He may have to choose between respecting his brother and respecting himself.
In an honest and humorous debut novel, Coert Voorhees uses a coming of age story to look at where loyalty ends and the self begins.