Karen's Reviews > From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson
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Feb 16, 10

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Read in March, 2009

I read this book for my Controversial Young Adult Literature class and I was glad that I did because, while it included a gay mother, the book did not center on homosexuality as I expected it too. On the contrary, it was a coming-of-age story of family unity and trust. This is a book of finding oneself through someone else’s discovery. Alternating excerpt from his journal with first-person descriptions of action, Woodson tackles the issues of racism and sexuality, and expresses the resentment and confusion of an adolescent desperately struggling to reestablish normalcy in a society that does not accept his mother’s sexuality or her white girlfriend. Woodson depicts the tenderness and love of a mother/son relationship in spite of stereotypical realities of an African-American home without a father. Melanin seems to embrace his mother’s new identity not because it’s the right thing to do but because of who he is, after all, at first he is angry and shocked. He learns the true meaning of sacrifice, prejudice and love.

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