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Blended

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  483 ratings  ·  127 reviews
"You’re so exotic!” “You look so unusual.” “But what are you really?”

Eleven-year-old Isabella is used to these kinds of comments - her father is black, her mother is white - but that doesn't mean she likes them. And now that her parents are divorced (and getting along WORSE than ever), Isabella feels more like a push-me-pull-me toy.

One week she’s Isabella with her dad, his
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
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Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:

Trigger warning: Arguments before divorce. Up till the point I read.

DNF

I heard about this book through GR. I was actually semi-excited to read this. It sounded cute but important. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this.

I liked the beginning! It was interesting and I enjoyed the music talk. After some time I felt that the dialogue was forced. It could've been the situation between her parents, but I just couldn't get into it. Thus I left it.

I do still recommend. I sincerely believe this
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Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Isabella is torn; her mom is white and her dad is black, and they have gotten divorced, leaving Isabella at her mom's one week and her dad's the next. Isabella is more than just being caught between two homes, though. She is caught between two cultures. What is her place? How can she react when her black friend is victimized? As a fellow black person? Or a white person?

Blended is a book that will deeply resonate with children today. Sharon Draper takes on issues of race that all children confron
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Lindsay Nixon
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to love this book, but it fell short for me. I also tried (very hard!) not to compare it to The Hate You Give, but even when I put that book completely out of my head I still felt this was a 2-star book.

I do applaud Draper for taking on the subject matters here ("blended" refers to being biracial *and* having divorced parents). However, it proved to be too much subject/topic for one book. The "issues" in the storylines "competed" making both issues shallow/unfinished/undone.

As a posit
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Alexa L
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just read this entire book on my phone in one sitting in a hotel room in Japan while my husband snores next to me. It’s phenomenal. Obviously Sharon Draper is a queen, but this book was all kinds of epic. Emotion jumps off the page, and she mentions my favorite ice cream in the world, Graeters, and Jason Reynolds, who is one of the best people in the world. Don’t miss it this fall, thanks to Edelweiss for the early copy!
Jesseca Evans
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheila
Oct 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
At first I was excited to read this book, as I am a big fan of Sharon M. Draper’s past bestsellers: Tears of a Tiger, Forged by Fire, Out of My Mind, etc. But Blended turned out to be a big disappointment.

There was just too much crammed into a book that just meandered along. There was unexplained drama between Izzy’s parents - why do they hate each other, exactly? - that made the whole divorced parents angst thing seem ungrounded. Then there was Izzy herself, whose voice was not fully realized
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Richie Partington
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: BLENDED by Sharon M. Draper, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy, October 2018. 320p., ISBN: 978-1-4424-9500-5

“Sit yourself down at the piano
Just about in the middle”
--Graham Nash, “Black Notes”

“Dylan Roof, white male, murdered 9 African Americans in a church, taken alive into custody.
Robert Bowers, white male, murdered 11 Jewish worshipers in church, taken alive.
Gregory A. Bush, white male, murdered 2 African Americans in a grocery store, taken alive.
Jemel Roberson, black security officer d
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Laurie
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 3-6

Do you ever feel like you don't belong? Are you torn between two divorced parents? This is eleven-year-old Isabella. She is struggling with living one week with her dad, his girlfriend, and her son in a very fancy neighborhood and the next week with her mom and her boyfriend in the average house that she grew up in. It is a constant weekly struggle between these two parents who fight over her all the time. The other issue Isabella faces is that her mom is white and her dad is
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Lauren Grace Keen
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! So good! This book is about 11-year-old (almost 12-year-old) Isabella. Her mom is white and her dad is black. Toward the beginning of the story, we learn that her parents are getting divorced. And they are incredibly ugly toward each other, leaving Isabella in the middle, feeling caught between two different identities. Now if this were all the story was about, it would still be amazing. But Sharon M. Draper has beautifully written a story that not only shares how divorce impacts children, ...more
Casey (caseydillabooks)
This book is about a girl who is blended in the sense that she’s biracial, and who is in a blended family as her parents have divorced and met other people. Isabella is at an age where she is coming to comprehend racial tensions in society and has to process it all, and it gets quite intense — Draper doesn’t guard 11-year-old Isabella (or readers) from the violence and ugliness, although there are plenty of moments of love and joy as well. It has mature but relevant themes and could make a good ...more
steph
I get what the author was trying to do here, what message she was sending, but it felt off to me. There was a lot going on in this small book and then the end(ing) was very climatic and did not fit (in my opinion) the story it was previously telling. It really made me stop and go "whaaaat?". I wanted to love this book, I am a fan of this author and all the reviews (including here on GR) have been great but this book was not for me. Which is fine, I suppose. Not every book is. I did like Isabella ...more
Heather Jensen
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Blended is so good on so many levels. I love the point of view of young woman caught in the middle of divorced parents and the toll it takes on her. Sharon M. Draper once again creates a character so real that Izzy/Isabella will live in my heart for a long time. Draper also explores viewpoint of a a child growing up with a black father and a white mother. Isabella is never sure where she fits in, asking her father "Do you think people think I'm Black or white when they see me? Am I Black? Or whi ...more
Cort
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Mini Me Rating
Amy
Many thanks to the publisher and EdelweissPlus for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.

I came into this book with VERY high expectations. Draper's earlier work Out of my Mind is one of my go-to, solid gold recommendations for my middle school readers (and teachers in my building). I had high hopes that this book would hit the same levels. And it did, and didn't. There were moments of the same brilliance, but at times they came too late in the book or were
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Tonja Drecker
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read from Sharon Draper, and it won't be my last. The author dives into current and important themes for today's society and approaches them from the view of a sixth grader.

Isabella feels divided when her parents get divorced, a feeling which only gets worse when her father...after years of living miles away...suddenly moves back to town. Seven days with her father, and seven days with her mother. As if the two lives weren't enough, the racial differences between her
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Rita
For those of you who know me will realize that after seeing the cover of this book I just knew it was going to speak to me. I just didn't realize how. The main character Isabella is on the front cover and her ice cream has fallen to the ground out of her cone. This is a catastrophe in my eyes...Then I read the book...Then I came to the end of the book...

Wait...I lied... I actually had Sharon Draper in the back seat reading me the ARC as we were rushing her to the airport to make her flight. It w
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Anna
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5*

It's a sad and painful book but also laugh out loud hilarious sometimes. And it's very honest, doesn't sugar-coat anything. Divorce, racism, violence, being a mixed-race child - all of these subjects are explored with care and understanding for how it's like for a child to be forced to deal with them. I know some things are very simplified and maybe even over-explained but I think it's okay considering "Blended" is for kids around Isabella's age and she's 11.

At least that's how I feel about
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Katy Wineke
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't generally love middle grade fiction: it can feel too light, simple, and silly. This book was no exception and I had a hard time connecting to Izzy/Isabella and her story for much of the book. That being said, I am not the target audience and I am giving it 4 stars because:
-I love that this book exists for middle grade readers and I think it is the right fit for them.
-I love that the person who helps I the most is Darren, a black teenage boy.
-I love that the book looks at how I struggles
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Maureen
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Isabella’s parents are divorced and share custody of her. One week she is with her mom and the other she is with her dad. The two families live different lifestyles and Izzy has to be someone else depending on whose week it is. This book has drama, humor, sadness, and deals with events specific to our nation right now. The title has a couple different meanings and is beautifully woven into the novel. Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my f ...more
Michele Knott
E-galley from Edelweiss.

In true Draper style, she tackles some big topics in a story that is perfect for middle grade readers.
Blended means a blended family, means understanding your blended identity when your mom is white and dad is black.
And at the end Draper looks at the big topic of police brutality vs the black community.
Czechgirl
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I like how the author split many of the chapters by who had custody of Izzy. I was really enjoying the book, but then end took a turn I didn’t expect and wowed me even more.
Sarah
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fdr, middle-grades
Really enjoyed this story about Isabella and her families. She's "blended" in a few different ways with a black father and a white mother, a split living situation between the two, and a new family dynamic with her parents' boyfriend/girlfriend and a new older "brother".

Watching her navigate it all is impressive. She considers everyone else's feelings before her own but gradually starts listening to her own inner voice. The story moves quickly with current issues neatly woven in: Black Lives Ma
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Jennifer Mangler
Draper does a terrific job of telling the story of Isabella, a girl torn between two families and struggling with her identity. The incident towards the end of the book isn't resolved as the book abruptly ends, which is too bad, because I wanted to know what happened next.
Josh
It pains me to give a low rating to a book by the wonderful Sharon Draper, who has written so many good stories for kids and teens. The premise of this book seemed relevant for so many kids who deal with divorce and split custody arrangements, as well as identity struggles from being biracial, that I was looking forward to reading it and sharing it with the young people in my life.

Having just finished the book, however, the story just felt out of control. In place of a character-driven plot, we
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Ms. Yingling
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Isabella's parents are divorced, and she lived with her mother in Cincinnati while her father worked in California. Now he is back, and they switch off weeks, meeting at a local mall for the trade off. With her mother, who works as a waitress, she lives in an apartment and has to worry about vehicles working, but with her father, she lives in a posh house in Indian Hill. Her mother's boyfriend, who is white like her mother, confesses that his family was very racist and a
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Melissa Edwards
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After I started reading this story, I could not put it down! At times I just wanted to give the main character a big hug. I am glad she had good friends in the story to help her deal with her family mess. Throughout her struggles, she learned some valuable lessons both about herself and the world around her.
Linnea
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This book would have been a solid 4 but the last few chapters brought it down to a 2.5 for me.

As a librarian, I have read A LOT of children's & teen books covering these social issues. The influx of literature focused on race and culture is important, it educates readers and parents and continues the mission of providing mirrors and windows.....THAT BEING said....

I feel like some books do the equivalent of "OSCAR BAITING". They include all the hot topics and social issues because be well r
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Munro's Kids
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Should I worry about confessing I have not read anything by Sharon Draper? That seems like a bad omission on my part. However, I am pleased to have one under my belt.

To save time, here is a quick list of pros/cons: [note - I said it would be quick, but this ended up being very l-o-n-g. Sorry!]

Pros:
- It covers a host of important topics, especially these days. Here's a list of what is addressed: divorce, blended families, biracial children, racism, police racial profiling, police violence (did I
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Laura Gardner
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Isabella, an 11 year old talented pianist in the 6th grade, hates Sundays. Sunday is the day she is exchanged from one parent to the other like a package. She has two bedrooms, two backpacks, two pianos and two homes, but in this case more feels like less. Isabella (or Izzy to her mom), has a white diner-waitress mom and a black wealthy lawyer dad who are divorced and have an antagonistic relationship. Blended documents her first year of shared custody between her parents who have been divorced ...more
Katy Noyes
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honest look at a girl split two ways, the issues feel realistic.

4.5 stars.

Isabella is 11, a talented pianist and caught between two lives - her white mother and boyfriend, and black father and his girlfriend. Since their acrimonious split, Isabella divides her time equally between 'Mom's Week' and 'Dad's Week', though at the same school, and feels, as a mixed race adolescent, a little conflicted.

Neither house is 'home', though both parents are adoring, both partners incredibly welcoming and lovi
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Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator as well as an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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