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Off-Color

2.94  ·  Rating Details ·  81 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Spunky and headstrong, Cameron blasts music, challenges adults, and cuts class when she feels like it. She lives with her single mom in Brooklyn and hangs out with best friends Amanda, P, and Crystal. Life in their working-class neighborhood is pretty cool until Cameron's mother suddenly loses her job and can no longer afford the rent. Move to public housing? YG2BK! But no ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Kate
Jul 30, 2011 Kate rated it it was ok
The characters in this book are 2D and the issues the main character faces are solved way too easily. She finds out she's biracial about half way through the book, I'm not giving anything away because it's pretty clear from the beginning that that's what's going to happen, and by the end of the book she's totally settled into her new identity, seemingly because she does a lot of internet research about famous biracial people. It seems like the author is trying to make the point that biracial ...more
Nate Morris
Nov 19, 2014 Nate Morris rated it it was ok
Off-Color, written by Janet McDonald, is a spunky book about a teenage girl named Cameron and her mother living in various parts of New York. Cameron would be described as a white girl. She has blue eyes, fair skin, and long hair but she finds out her true identity when she moved to the projects. Cameron finding out that she is half black not only surprised her, but also encouraged her to get out of her comfort zone and have new experiences. This book shows the struggles in which society deals ...more
me,myself and hubbz dats all
off color is a great book it talks about something that most people wonder about everyday, if my is white and my father is black am i white,black or biracial?? in this book it talks about a girl and her three friends and how they try to come to a conclusion about whether or not your consider white or black if you have mixed parents they came to a conclusion that if you look white you are white if you look black you are black. in this book one of the girls finds out that she has a black father ...more
Jessica
Mar 17, 2008 Jessica rated it did not like it
I didn't really like this book at all. Actually, though I am usually a big advocate of sticking with a book even if you don't like it that much, I gave myself permission to stop reading this one because I disliked it so much. The language seems so forced, as if the author is trying too hard to sound like a teenager. Much of the slang and texting language just feels unnatural; it was as if the author was writing in a language in which she was not fluent, and that just made it annoying. Also, ...more
Nana-esi Igyan
Mar 24, 2013 Nana-esi Igyan rated it really liked it
Genre: Fiction
Tags:New Life,Teen
Lexile Score: 760L

Book Review: This author has done an excellent job in keeping this book eye catching to youth growing up in this generation. Many allusions to modern culture are throughout the novel. Therefore, I feel that this book is very entertaining and worth reading.

Book Plot: Cameron was a girl who skipped school, disrespected and could less about adults, and did whatever she wanted. However, when her mom lost her job and could no longer afford their home,
...more
Erin Sterling
Jan 27, 2009 Erin Sterling rated it did not like it
Cameron lives in Brooklyn with her mom, who works at a nail salon, and has never met her father. When her mom loses her job and they're forced to move to the projects where they stand out as white people, Cameron learns about herself and faces changing notions of identity. The characters are limited and stereotyped, the writing seems forced, and the plot is interesting enough to keep you reading but disappointing.
Claire Scott
I think that Janet McDonald is a fine and interesting author, but Off-Color fell far short of her usual standard. The characters were flat with unrealistic voices, the slang and music will be dated quickly (if it isn't already), and the story was preachy rather than substantive.

Also, I can't help cringing when an author uses slang and then translates it for the reader. Oof.

WCPL Teens
Mar 22, 2012 WCPL Teens rated it it was ok
Shelves: shelly-reads
Cameron has never known her father; her mother has raised her. When her mother loses her job and they have to move to the projects, Cameron's worried about leaving her old friends behind and isn't sure what kind of people she'll meet. And when she discovers that her father was black, that confuses things even more.
Amanda
Aug 01, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Other than the fact that this occasionally sounds like it was written by someone trying to be a lot younger and more hip than they were, I enjoyed this book. The characters are rich and well-rounded and despite being geared at a young teen audience, it has a realistic feel. There's not a lot of deep thought involved and the plot isn't complicated, but it's an enjoyable read.
Juice Young
Nov 10, 2010 Juice Young rated it really liked it
Shelves: didn-t-finsh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessy
Aug 19, 2010 Jessy rated it it was ok
daaaaated, terrible cover, slow slow start, I know this was released posthumously and I wonder if it went through many author drafts at all.
This book is a good example of crap description: please don't tell me things on the book flap that happen over half-way through the book.
The Library Lady
Feb 26, 2008 The Library Lady rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-books
This was Janet McDonald's last book and it feels as if it's an outline that never got properly developed.
The characters are cardboardy. The situations are not believable.And the ending is pat and empty.
Alexa
Nov 29, 2007 Alexa rated it did not like it
Shelves: teenbooks
While I found the issues in this book interesting and poignant, I found the characters stiff and implausible and the ending too easily tied together. Raises good issues but doe snot make for great reading.
Bryan S.
Jan 25, 2011 Bryan S. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 8th-grade
Cameron had her sweet sixteen and she is not happy that her black friends and white friends can't get along. I it's mostly about fitting in her neigborhood.
Jinx King
Read for class. This felt very underdeveloped, but I didn't mind too much since it was such an easy read.
Naomi
May 27, 2011 Naomi rated it it was ok
The plot is thumbs up but the characters are flat and the slang is annoyong, especially when the author translates it. :(
Randy Smith
Sep 22, 2013 Randy Smith rated it did not like it
The book was too predictable, and although the plot was decent, I think the teen slang is annoying and the book stereotypes lots of stuff
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Janet McDonald was an American writer of young adult novels as well as the author of 'Project Girl', a memoir about her early life in the Brooklyn projects and struggle to achieve an Ivy League education. Her best known children's book is Spellbound, which tells the story of a teenaged mother who wins a spelling competition and a college scholarship. The book was named as the American Library ...more
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