Books and Stories

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

 

Jade is a Sophomore at a private school looking for her voice and place in the world. She leaves her friends and neighborhood and takes a bus five days a week to get there, aware that she does not fully fit in. She signs up for a mentorship program that allows her the chance for a scholarship. Her mentor, Maxine, misses the first meeting, to Jade’s disappointment and frustration. Jade wonders if the mentorship program is worth her time, if the women running it really get what girls like her want out of life, and learns to become fully herself in a world fraught with challenges.

Piecing Me Together is a story of friendship and family, racism and the contrast between wealth and poverty. It is the story of one young woman’s discovery of the power of art for self-discovery and bringing people together. Jade faces difficulties of learning to speak up for herself and decides what’s worth fighting for. This coming of age story brought me to tears several times. Watson’s story is powerful, real, and eye-opening, and the ending is hopeful and realistic.

Part of what makes this story so wonderful is that Watson never condemns any one person or any one side of any issue. It’s both the mentor and the mentee who offer wisdom. The old life and new lifestyle both offer healthy contributions to Jade’s life. There is good to be found in the wealthy and the poor. Real life reflects this kind of healthy weaving of disparate parts and Watson reminds us that when everything works together, we often have a healthier whole.  (Reviewed by Bradley Sides). From BookBrowse.com

Here are some quotes from the book. I tried to pick some that stood on their own, without the need for pages of context. Now I wish I’d taken a screen shot of the poem near the end by LeeLee, Jade’s friend. But I guess you’ll just have to read it yourself. 🙂

 

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