Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Skin I'm In

The Skin I'm in Sharon Flake

Maleeka Madison is sick of being teased for her homemade clothes, her dark skin, and her good grades. She has a deal with the bad girls that they'll look out for her if she does their homework, but it doesn't solve everything. Then a new teacher comes and tries to turn everything upside down. Maleeka knows she needs strength to do the right thing, but she's not sure if she'll ever find it.

We don't see a huge number of books for tweens written about inner city life and schools. (Off the top of my head, I can really only think of the Bluford High series. My middle school readers love these books, but they read too after-school-specialy to me.) This is also a different type of bullying than I've seen in other tween books-- Maleeka's not afraid her "friends" will dump her and she'll be ostracized if she stands up to them. She's afraid they'll beat the crap out of her.

Although it's packaged to look like Flake's teen titles, this is a book that older tweens will eat up. Maleeka skips a lot of class, her friends make-out with boys, and the trouble she gets in is criminal. At the same time, the language is clean and all of Maleeka's actions have severe consequences without reading like a moralistic lesson. It's fairly short, a quick read, and is a great one to hand to reluctant girl readers.

Book Provided by... my local library

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Anonymous said...

I love your reviews--will have to check out The Skin I'n In. I have been reading lots of your blog since Meg Cabot tweeted your Allie #5 review. :)

Doret said...

I love Flake, my favorite is Money Hungry. I hate the Bluford High series.

Check out Pemba's Song by Nelson and Hegamin for your students.