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See No Color

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  400 ratings  ·  104 reviews
For as long as she can remember, sixteen-year-old Alex Kirtridge has known two things:

1. She has always been Little Kirtridge, a stellar baseball player, just like her father.

2. She’s adopted.

These facts have always been part of Alex’s life. Despite some teasing, being a biracial girl in a white family didn’t make much of a difference as long as she was a star on the diamo
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published November 1st 2015 by Carolrhoda Lab
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  400 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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A really fascinating and necessary slice-of-life novel about Alex, a biracial girl, who is adopted by white parents. Set in Madison, WI, it had me from the start, but it kept me with Alex's voice. This is a story about baseball, about family, about "not seeing color," about blackness, and it even has a little romance -- one that's realistic and not at all the driving force behind the novel.

This is a shorter read and one that I can see so many teen readers picking up and seeing themselves in. Th
Sarah Dahlen
See No Color provides a close look into one transracially adopted Black teen’s life around the time she begins to think more reflectively about her blackness and adoptee-ness. While many would like to believe that adoption is a universally wonderful way to build a family, author Shannon Gibney makes plain through her protagonist Alex that being both black and adopted is complicated, especially in a world where competing voices and interests try to control representations of adoption in the media ...more
Aug 20, 2015 added it
This is a very solid novel, and while there are a few rough spots where the voice seems "off" (not really like that of a teen), and the ending is really abrupt, it's a really fantastic look at identity with an nice peppering of family and baseball.
Quite disappointed in this book...needed to keep reminding myself of Adichie's TED talk "Danger of a Single Story." My sister is a transracial adoptee raised in Madison. To say that Alex's parents were pretty clueless is an understatement. The pretty much complete absence of her mom in the story especially bothered me. And that her younger sister knew more about her adoption than she did just didn't make sense to me. And having been raised in Madison, it's almost impossible to make the trip to D ...more
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect. I almost don't think I need to go beyond giving it 5 stars. Adequate words fail me in the face of such talent and skill in storytelling.

The pacing is excellent, the structure classic without feeling forced - the steady build up of tension to a crescendo (emotional meltdown) followed by resolution and empowerment. The author depicts a very realistic, age-appropriate developmental crisis, aka "coming of age" story, of a transracial adoptee. It's a modern journey of discovery
It's been a while since I've read a book with such an impact.

Alex is a transracial adoptee. For the most part, her life is unflawed. She enjoys playing baseball with her father, fawning over the occasional boy. It isn't until neighbors and family friends start whispering that she's African-American - though only half - while the rest of her family is white, arising fear and anxiety out of Alex. She doesn't feel welcome in her own skin or family, and she has no one to turn to.

I wasn't too appreci
Rebecca McNutt
To Alex, the parents who adopted her are the most amazing people in the world and she bonds over baseball with her father. But when the topic of whether she identifies as black or white comes up, she isn't sure what to decide.

See No Color is a modern yet timeless new book that proves a person should be judged based on their actions, not the colour of their skin. Alex is a character who any kid can relate to, growing up in a time when prejudice is still out there but when it can also be question
Sarah Hannah
Jul 22, 2015 added it
Shelves: ya, 2015
!!!!!!!!!!!! This book is so important and I have so many things to say later when I get them all down. like all of these thoughts, i guess:
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: racism, fiction
I admire an author who can craft a novel of less than 200 pages which I can read in a single evening and which enlightens me. I am male. I was not adopted. Being German and Scottish does not qualify as being "mixed." I came of age in a very homogeneous locale. So, Shannon Gibney gave me some things to think about by sharing Alex's story of being a transracial adoptee. It felt authentic and given Gibney's background, I have no reason to think it isn't a fair representation of the issues. And then ...more
Close to four stars. The parts of the story dealing with transracial adoption, Alex's struggle with identity, and her relationship with her adoptive family and birth family were very well done. As the book was coming to a close and I realized (view spoiler), I was a bit disappointed. In retrospect, though, I appreciated Gibney's choice. (view spoiler) ...more
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty powerful book. The pacing felt like an intense freight train chugging along and it really capitalized on the helplessness that Alex feels in coming to grips with her identity.

The book definitely focuses on Alex's struggle as a biracial teen adopted by white parents. However there are a lot of issues touched on including sexism, gender roles, family dynamics and finding your voice and identity.

I actually really liked the detailed sections during the games. I am a baseball fan,
C.E. G
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-ya-ya
A quick but meaningful YA debut about Alex, a baseball player and transracial adoptee in Wisconsin. Even though it's got some sports in it (ugh), the sport didn't overwhelm the story and I whipped through it.

The only other YA book I've read about transracial adoption was Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher, but I don't remember thinking that one would be as life-changing for teens as I think this one will be. See No Color reminded me of a lot of "coming out" novels that I've read, in that it was occas
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I appreciate that she talked about the different intersections of race, culture, class, and even religion. Chapter seven was amazing but it didn't stop there. It built up and continued to dig deep at those intersections. No Hollywood endings here and I thank the author for that.
3.5 Stars

One of the most eye opening books I read last year was A GOOD TIME FOR THE TRUTH, a collection of essays about growing up as a Person of Color in Minnesota. One of the most striking essays to me was the one that Shannon Gibney wrote, about experiencing a racist encounter at a grocery store when she was there with her family, and how African American children are more likely to be treated as suspicious or as criminals than white children. I didn't realize that she also writes fiction, un
Ilana D'Angelo
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Currently, I am on page 80, finished part 1 of the book. So far, the book is very good and interesting. I say interesting because of the fact how real she is with the reader. What has happened so far is that Alex, main character of the book, is a black girl who is adopted into a white family. She was 5 months old when she was adopted. She is now 16 and had found letters that her parents had been hiding from her. The letters were from her real father who always wrote to her in hopes of getting a ...more
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was required reading for a black heritage conference we're attending as a family. It's the story of a biracial teenager growing up in her white family in Madison, WI. The author does a beautiful job of capturing the otherness felt by transracial adoptees and, also, of the harm caused by white parents that refuse to see color. I cringed many times reading Alex's story. I learned a lot, too. A must read for any transracial adoptive family.
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Rating this book was really difficult because I really liked the story and idea of the book but I didn't like the writing as much. I liked that the book was about baseball and had some issues like race and adoption but the book was quite short and ended really quickly without tying up several things.
Natalia Rodriguez
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Natalia Rodriguez
ELA hr 2
4 October 2017
See No Color Review
See No Color is a great book by Shannon Gibney. This book is Nonfiction, but it’s not a true story, so it's realistic fiction. The topic of this book is about being adopted and how you feel about certain things and some of the things you have to through with being an adoptee.
The main character of this book is Alex, she is an adopted African American girl who was adopted into a White family. Some of the other characters in t
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Clark
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Identity in your teen years is often like fresh Jell-O, slippery, hard to mold and quivery. What if you're a different color than everyone else in your family and have absolutely no reference point as to what that means? Meet sixteen year old Alex Kirtridge, a transracial adoptee. She knows her father was black and her mother was white, but that's pretty much it. Black kids treat her as though she's some odd thing and her adoptive parents pretty much ignore her ethnic heritage, pretending they a ...more

I am an advocate of this narrative--there definitely needs to be more adoptee voices in literature, esp. transracial, transnational, and esp. in YA. Adoption is something I'm always trying to learn more about, and this perspective shone some light on tough issues that transracial families can face.

I'm also very glad this book is getting exposure through its recent acquisition of the MN Book Award for Youth Lit!

The first half was also very engaging! I couldn't put it down and read it late i
D Fisher
Feb 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was so incredibly disappointed in this book. I went in truly excited as to where the story might lead me - a book about a biracial child who was adopted by a white family - Great subject! But then I started reading.
First, the author continually uses the word mixed instead of biracial. I could of handled it if she had said mixed race but no, she just said mixed.
Second, the father in the story continually to remind people that the daughter is "mixed". It seems as though he is offended by the b
Read InAGarden
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Alex is a transracial adoptee - her mother was white, father was black and she was given up for adoption at birth. Her adoptive parents are very into baseball and have been training her for baseball greatness her entire life. In her late teens, she suffers the dual crisis of beginning to not be the perfect baseball player (as the boys begin to physically out perform her) and facing her biological past.

There is enough meat on the bone of each crisis for a full book but both of them are relegated
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all the teens (and everyone who's been a teen)
I didn't have high hopes for this book -- not because of the issues of identity and race and family -- but because baseball does not captivate my attention or imagination unless I am sitting in a stadium and eating ballpark snacks. Holy moly, this book blew me away. It's not just a good story about adoptees, about family, about race, about identity -- it's a good story, period. Alex is a phenomenal character, and all the characters are realistic, sympathetic, and compelling. Also, guest appearan ...more
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
my husband: "are you reading a book about sports?!?!"

yes, and i read it in two sittings!

luckily (for me) this book is more about identity and finding oneself than baseball, although the game does factor in as alex's father is a baseball coach who pushes his kids to be the best possible players. alex is a biracial teenage girl adopted into a white family that does not like to talk about race and insists they don't "see her as black." except for her younger sister Kit, who knows that their parents

I loved that this book hit the trifecta of greatness: 1) it speaks to other transracial adoptees, and I'm sure is really validating to teens in similar situations; 2) it's incredibly empathetic---to live in Alex's head and to see her experience--that sense of my worldview expanding--it was tremendous; and 3) it is super well-written and enjoyable to read!!

If there are other books about transracial adoption out there, I have not heard of them, so not only is SEE NO COLOR a brilliant story, it
Maggie Chidester
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
We've all heard that white person when brought into a discussion about race say "But I don't see color." But people are not stupid. They see things. Catch certain repeated phrases. Can sense discomfort. They notice willful blindness. You can play a hand in racial discrimination when you choose to ignore an integral part of a person's identity. A vital characteristic that plays a role in their struggle and experience in the world. It is okay to say the word "black." This books addresses that. It ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very fine YA novel about an African American girl who is an adopted daughter in a white family. Alex struggles as a young woman of color who does not feel she fits in with African American students at school but is not white like her family. She is just tuning into a subtle, inadvertent racism of her parents who insist that she is "mixed" as if this is a slightly better way of being than being black or African American. A new African American boyfriend in her life brings urgency to this search ...more
See No Color is about Alex, a transracial adoptee, whose 'colorblind' white family has totally messed themselves (and her) up by avoiding conversations about race or education on race... and how she finds herself despite that. This book was un-put-down-able and I devoured it in one sitting.

Alex's story is bittersweet and really just starting at the end of See No Color, and I felt so sad that it was over when I closed the cover. I was so proud of the main character for getting through everything
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
It's no secret that I'm not the biggest fan of YA, unless it is Harry Potter or strongly influenced by Harry Potter. So when I landed on 4 stars for this book (technically 3.5 but I rounded up). This is an excellently written story of a transracial adoptee and a day in her life (or summer) as she works through her identity. It's a story that I haven't heard before and I'm honestly shocked this book isn't widespread and beloved.

My only gripe is that it seemed rush towards the end. It's a relativ
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Shannon Gibney was born in 1975, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was adopted by Jim and Sue Gibney about five months later, and grew up with her two (biological) brothers, Jon and Ben.

Shannon has loved to read and to write as far back as she can remember. When she was in second grade, she started making “books” about her family’s camping trips, and later graduated to a series on three sibling detectiv
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