Lesley's Reviews > Silhouetted by the Blue

Silhouetted by the Blue by Traci L. Jones
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's review
Sep 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: heavy, multicultural, real, urban, teen

A great book about an Issue (actually, more than one Issue) that really shows how Issues (in this case, a mother's death and a father's downward spiral into depression) affect every aspect of a girl's life (relationships with friends and with her little brother, her role in the school musical) while keeping those aspects realistically relevant. It felt like a real slice of a girl's life at a moment of crisis. I especially appreciated how she didn't react to everything perfectly--she lashed out at her brother sometimes, for example--but had a solid core of strength. I also appreciated that this story could have been anyone's but it happens to be that of an African-American girl. Race is not an Issue in the story and it's always great to find books with African-American protagonists where that's the case.

My one concern is that I wish there had been a bit more of a Message about seeking help instead of trying to soldier on. Her fears about ending up in foster care if her father was institutionalized were valid, but I wish it had been made clear that seeking help would have been the best choice. Not that she would have known to make that choice, as a seventh grader, but that she would have realized afterwards. Still, I'm glad to have such a strong "problem" book to booktalk.
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