Piecing Me Together
fp February 2017
Acclaimed author Renee Watson offers a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it's trying to break her.
Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighbourhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn't really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She's tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.
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Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson is a fantastic book about development. Set in North Portland, the story is about the life of talented Jade Butler. Throughout the story, Jade is a mentee in a “woman to woman” mentorship program for “at-risk” girls, through this the book explores what having someone to talk to and essentially be friends with, and how the relationship between Jade and her mentor advances. The story shows how Jade progresses and changes as a person.
The genre this story belongs in would be realistic as it covers quite realistic situations and if you think about it, you realise that somewhere in the world this could be happening at this very moment. I would say this book would best appeal to young teens as it would be easier for them to relate and put themselves in Jade’s shoes.
Something that I very much liked about this book would be the Spanish words and their translations being the chapter titles, I liked this because it gives the book a unique aspect and shows that learning the language (Spanish) is quite important to Jade.
Jasleen, age 13