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Piecing Me Together

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  17,873 ratings  ·  2,295 reviews
A timely and powerful story about a teen girl from a poor neighborhood striving for success, from acclaimed author Renée Watson.

Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportun
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Hardcover, 264 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Children's
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Juli Hoffman This would be an EXCELLENT book for middle school and high school book clubs! I'd give it ten stars if it were possible. The characters were well writ…moreThis would be an EXCELLENT book for middle school and high school book clubs! I'd give it ten stars if it were possible. The characters were well written and developed and there'd would be some GREAT discussions. This is one of the best books I've read this year.

*Bonus, this book is a "clean read," and yet the writing feels incredibly realistic. It deals with a lot of complicated issues in a positive, character-growing way.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,873 ratings  ·  2,295 reviews


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Emily May
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And this makes me wonder if a black girl’s life is only about being stitched together and coming undone, being stitched together and coming undone.
I wonder if there’s ever a way for a girl like me to feel whole.

Piecing Me Together is such an important and moving book. It released during Black History Month, and was perhaps overshadowed by the buzz surrounding the amazing The Hate U Give that followed up a month later. Both books look at what it means to be a black teen in modern America, but
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Cristina Monica
Unlike the majority of teenagers, Jade knows what she wants.

She knows that she wants to escape her poor neighbourhood, go to a great college on a scholarship, and eventually buy her mama the house she isn’t able to afford on her own.

Yes, she goes to an almost-all-white private school, but she is constantly reminded of where she comes from—and right now, she’s not sure that’s a good thing.

Fortunately, the program she recently joined, called Woman to Woman, will help her figure out who she is as
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Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
I just cried through the last 40 pages of this. Absolutely incredible.
emma
Two things about this book:
1) Most social issue-focused YA contemporaries should pay attention to this one. Like, calling all of you: it's possible to write about important topics without having dry-ass narratives and characters I don't care about!!
2) I should have read it a long time ago.

Bottom line: That about covers it!

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please don't ask me how long i've had this book on my to-read list (but it's 3 years)

(thanks to the publisher for the copy. oops)

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i am spending this month readin
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Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.



Uneventful and painfully didactic. Piecing Me Together is a well-intentioned book that struggles in its execution.
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Maxwell
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Why isn't everyone talking about this book!? I am honestly shocked that I hadn't heard about this before it was sent to me by the publisher (though this review is not sponsored or influenced by them in any way—as always, thoughts & opinions are my own).

This story is about Jade who is going into her junior year at a mostly white, wealthy high school in Portland where she is a scholarship student. She's learning Spanish, which is a big part of the story, and looking forward to this year because it
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Malia
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This is the sort of quiet, underrated book that really deserves more attention. It is probably not dramatic or dark enough to make much of a wave. However, it is so relevant and really makes you think about race in this country and also about the enormous hurdles faced by families living in poverty. The main character, Jade, is smart and thoughtful, but she is also frustrated and I really felt for her. All she wants is fairness, and it made me sad to see her grapple with a world that is often so ...more
Whitney Atkinson
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book based on two people's recommendations that it was game-changing and eye-opening. On one hand, I do like that this book brings up issues that I haven't seen before in any other books about a young, black teenager, such as reconciling privilege and advocating for racism as a bystander and voicing injustices. There were threads and motifs that were woven throughout this book gorgeously, and I also thought that Jade's evolution from someone unsure of herself to someone who is vocal ...more
Lala BooksandLala
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jade was such a strong person to read about, both in how well written she was, and just as a young inspiring character. She takes every opportunity that comes her way because she and her mother believe in order to succeed, she needs to get out of her neighborhood. But joining the mentorship program "Woman to Woman" which is supposed to help her get a scholarship, turns out to make her feel misunderstood and targeted, Jade must stand up for change. Much like with Watch Us Rise, I would have loved ...more
TL
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to TL by: Emily May
Another day of not feeling good so this will be short review.

A beautiful, thoughtful, moving novel that makes you think. It had a quieter vibe than The Hate U Give but just as important and powerful.

We need more books like this in the world and add them to every library in schools/towns that we can.

Would highly recommend :)
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Quotes: (in no particular order)

And this makes me wonder if a black girl’s life is only about being stitched together and coming undone, being stitched together and com
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Trevor
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, tlb, 2017
PIECING ME TOGETHER is a lovely quick read about a girl trying to find her own place in the world. I enjoyed Watson's THIS SIDE OF HOME last year & am even more impressed by TOGETHER. Watson makes strong female characters & I loved Jade, this book's MC.

Jade lives with her single mom & uncle E.J. in Portland, Ore. & goes to a predominantly white school. She is a bright student, getting A's & tutoring many peers. Jade is an artist & her goal in life is to travel the world, hence learning Spanish &
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Fafa's Book Corner
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner!

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: Racism and police violence.

Piecing Me Together was completed during #rimpysreadsathon. Piecing Me Together was a book talked about last year through booktube. Surprisingly I hadn't heard about it through GR or Twitter. After reading some reviews and seeing that it was in my library, I requested a copy. I'm very glad I did!

Through her mother's encouragement Jade has taken every opportunity her school has offered. The lat
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Hillary
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have so many feelings for this book. I love mentor plots in YA and that’s what initially made me want to read this book, but I had no idea how profound and powerful it was going to be.

Within a chapter or two I was already attached to the main character. She is so well written you can feel every one of her struggles as if they’re yours. I related so hard my words are all gone. Also, I empathized with this book on such a level that I don’t know how to really explain my thoughts.

This book shows
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Warda
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for The Reading Rush readathon.
Challenge: read a book in the same spot the entire time.
Kay
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#RWLChallenge: A book with black artists, dancers or musicians (own voices)

My only issue is that it is too short. LOL.
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: High School/Middle School libraries; Parents; Diverse readers
And this makes me wonder if a black girl's life is only about being stitched together and coming undone, being stitched together and coming undone. I wonder if there's ever a way for a girl like me to feel whole.

What can I say? Renée Watson returns with another story of young black girlhood. After reading This Side of Home, I wanted more from this author. She delivered.

Jade is a YA female protagonist that's needed. She offers, on page, the daily mirror almost every black girl reflects upon. Iss
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Book Riot Community
I loved this book about Jade, a teen girl growing up in a poor neighborhood in Oregon who attends a mostly-white private school. She is invited to an “at-risk” mentorship program called Women to Women, and Jade quickly figures out that just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean they can relate to each other. Jade’s voice is compelling and real, and the book is interspersed with gorgeous poetry (see Chapter 35, Things That are Black and Beautiful). The cover is also stunning – artwork done by ...more
Kelly
A powerful story about class, about how you find yourself, how you lose yourself, and what it means to be a black girl in America. Watson's story is full of heart, as much as it's full of moments that are heart-wrenching. Loved how this book explored friendship and intersectional relationships, as well as the microaggressions that can occur within them. This is a smart, savvy look at race; more than just looking at race relations, this delves into race challenges within the black community.

Also
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Ava
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
OH MY GOD THIS WAS MAGNIFICENT.

I highly, highly, highly recommend this book about a poor Black girl artist growing up in Portland. Wow.

Please, please read this. There isn't enough hype for this masterpiece, despite the fact that the majority of my friends rated this 5 stars. Why aren't people talking about this? (Or where have I been to miss it? Seriously, I wish I picked this up months ago.)

Just read it.
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
A beautiful story that thoughtfully discusses the intersection of race, gender, friendship, and privilege. It was just lovely!
Danielle
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
"Sometimes it feels like I leave home a whole person, sent off with kisses from Mom, who is hanging her every hope on my future. By the time I get home I feel like my soul has been shattered into a million little pieces...And this makes me wonder if a black girl's life is only about being stitched together and coming undone, being stitched together and coming undone." (p. 85-86)

I loved this story about a girl attending a private school on scholarship and her relationships—with the school, with h
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Kate (GirlReading)
Piecing Me Together was beautifully, almost lyrically, written. It was powerful, honest and contained so many important messages that need to be said. If you’re looking for a short read that packs a punch, this is one I’d definitely recommend.
Kiera
Piecing Me Together follows Jade, a young girl living in a poor neighborhood in North Portland. She attends St. Francis, a private school on the other side of town. Being one of the only black kids attending St. Francis sometimes Jade feels like an outsider. When the school counselor recommends that she join a woman to woman mentor program she learns that she can make a difference.

Piecing Me Together is a beautiful, beautiful book written by Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott winning author, Renee
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Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
Sometimes I just want to be comfortable in this skin, this body. Want to cock my head back and laugh loud and free, all my teeth showing, and not be told I'm too rowdy, too ghetto.

It's a shame that one book release on a certain topic – such as The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – can create such a buzz, whereas others focusing on similar, if not the same, topics are easily overlooked. Both of these books focus on race, injustice, and inequality, but go about addressing these themes in a very di
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Gretchen Rubin
An interesting main character grappling with the reality and idea of "opportunity."
Xan West
This book was seriously amazing. It destroyed me in the best way. Gorgeous writing, wonderful and complex characterization, a beautiful arc. I now will read this author's entire backlist because it's just brilliant, in more ways than I have words for.

This novel is told from the POV of Jade, a fat Black poor teen artist growing up in Portland. It's very much about class, art, and finding ways to speak up for yourself and be true to who you are. It's also about police violence targeting Black fol
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BookOfCinz
And this makes me wonder if a black girl’s life is only about being stitched together and coming undone, being stitched together and coming undone.

I am not usually one for YA books but this one blew me over! I absolutely loved Renee Watson's Piecing Me Together . The book is told from the point of view of the main character Jade. She is a young girl from a poor neighborhood who won a scholarship to a prestigious mainly white school. Jade shows us how she navigates both worlds she is forced t
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Katie
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4.5*

Probably one of the best YA books I’ve read in a very long time
Christina
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It's message driven, but the message is timely and much needed. Jade is a scholarship student at a prestigious private school in Portland. She is an artist who takes things other people throw away and makes them beautiful. Inspired by current events, and the experiences of York, the slave who traveled with Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition, her artwork is her outlet and form of self care. To see full review and author interview click here. ...more
Janani
This book is so stunning and complex, I can't believe more people aren't talking about it. Renée Watson is such an elegant writer. I'm only sorry that I didn't pick it up sooner.
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Baylie Toney Review 7 1 6 Apr 09, 2020 09:51PM  
Play Book Tag: (Poll Ballot Tally) Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson - 4 stars 1 12 Apr 01, 2020 10:28AM  
Heather Harris Review #7 1 2 Nov 05, 2019 08:42AM  

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Renée Watson is the author of the children’s picture book, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen (Random House, June 2010), which was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Her middle grade novel, What Momma Left Me debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle grade fiction by The Independent Children's Booksellers Association.

Renée’s one woman show, Roses are Red, Women are Blue, debuted at N
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“I know something happens between the time our mothers and fathers and teachers and mentors send us out into the world telling us, "The world is yours," and "You are beautiful," and "You can be anything," and the time we return to them.

Something happens when people tell me I have a pretty face, ignoring me from the neck down. When I watch the news and see unarmed black men and women shot dead over and over, it's kind of hard to believe this world is mine.

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