The Only Black Girls in Town

The Only Black Girls in Town

Book - 2020
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In a predominately white California beach town, the only two black seventh-graders, Alberta and Edie, find hidden journals that uncover family secrets and speak to race relations in the past.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316456388
Characteristics: 355 pages ; 21 cm


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From Library Staff

Twelve-year-old Alberta lives with her two loving (and slightly overprotective) dads in sleepy Ewing Beach, California. Alberta is a vegetarian, a surfer and not sure whether she feels ready to be a teenager. Especially compared to her best friend Laramie who’s grown long legs and a serious inter... Read More »

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Mar 15, 2020

Want to read a wonderful book with great characters and a good mystery? The Only Black Girls in Town is Brandy Colbert's middle grade debut, and my goodness was it a chef's kiss of a story.

Albert and her family for the longest time, were the only black family in town. Her best friend, Laramie, though wonderful, cannot necessarily understand everything that Alberta goes through in terms of how differently at times she is treated by others. When Alberta learns that a new black girl has moved to town, she is elated. While Alberta is hoping that she and the new girl, Edie, will be fast friends, she starts to learn that Edie is struggling with being homesick for Brooklyn, New York. When the girls begin to explore Edie's new home, they find old journals sharing painful secrets of someone's life who was left behind.

I loved this book! I loved the distinct voices between Alberta and Edie. I love how genuine both girls are with each other and how they don't shame others for not necessarily knowing what it's like to be black -- in fact this story has the characters doing a great job of educating others! The best parts of the story were the girls reading the journals that had been left behind and having the desire to find out who they in fact belonged to. There's a really good mystery there, and I loved the end results of the story because the payoff was very good.

This is a great middle grade debut that offers a lot to younger readers. It's a great story about being different and yet having your differences be complimented and wanted. I love how so many elements, such as Alberta having two dads, is very normalized in the story, and I loved and wanted to hug Edie when she felt homesick. Definitely check out this book if you love a good contemporary story!


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