Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “For Black Girls Like Me” as Want to Read:
For Black Girls Like Me
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

For Black Girls Like Me

by
4.33  ·  Rating details ·  979 ratings  ·  256 reviews
I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark.

Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena―the only other adopted black girl she knows―for
...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about For Black Girls Like Me, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about For Black Girls Like Me

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  979 ratings  ·  256 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of For Black Girls Like Me
Camryn
Aug 18, 2019 added it
This was... a lot. Trigger warning for attempted suicide.
Arielfranchakyahoo.com
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that will remain in my heart for a long, long time. Beautifully written, in a variety of formats, BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME, is the story of Keda, an 11-year old African American girl adopted as a baby, by a white family. However, this story not only tackles the feelings Keda has a black girl growing up in a white family, it also addresses racism, mental illness, friendship and family bonds. This story had so many rich layers to it, and although it was heartbreaking at times, it was pow ...more
Mary Lee
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adoption
There's lots to appreciate and learn from in this book, around race, racism, microaggressions, and mixed-race families (including the loneliness of a black child in a white family). There's also a brutal lot about life with an undiagnosed bipolar mother. My stars aren't really for how much I "liked" the book, they are for the importance of the book. It's not for every reader, but for the ones who need it, wow. It will mean the world.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
2.5 STARS

Makeda, the Black adopted daughter of whites parents and a sister Eve, feels out of place in her family. When they move to New Mexico, her blackness becomes more of an issue as does her mom’s mental illness.

FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is an important story that is watered down by trying to address too much for the target audiences. Keda is eleven, so most readers will be eleven and younger. Mariama Lockington deals with the subtle and not-so-subtle Keda experiences, as an adoptee and as a B
...more
Laura Gardner
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to author Mariama J. Lockington (@forblackgirlslikeme) and @macmillankidsbooks for a free copy of this STUNNING book to share with @kidlitexchange. I will be mailing this to @akossket right away and then it will be shared w/#kidlitexchange. This book isn't out until July 30, but please put it on all your summer pre-orders now. It's perfect for grades 4 - 8 and belongs in each and every elementary and middle school library in America.
.
~
~
5/5 big GUSHING stars for this beautifully written de
...more
Akoss
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: all-mg, colorinyamg
@Kidlitexchange #partner - I received a copy of this book from the Kidlitexchange network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Releasing 7/30/19

Keda is a Black eleven-year-old girl with a white adoptive family. When her family moves to a different state Keda gets separated from her best friend, the only other Black girl with a white adoptive family she knows. Now she has to dig deep (into her beliefs and emotions) to face the world with the type of ugliness only she experien
...more
Kari
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
First thought: why doesn’t this book use commas? This is going to be annoying.

Second thought: this is a great story on identity struggles, one that’s probably not often addressed in youth lit.

Third thought: wait, now it’s about mental illness, too? Impactful, even if it does seem to divert attention from its initial major “conflict.” But accurate in illustrating that people can have more than one major conflict in life.

Fourth thought: stayed up too late on a school night finishing.
Pernille Ripp
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is in my top 3 of best books read this year hands down.
Emily Waller
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This story is powerful from a perspective I have not read before. Keda is Black, her family is white. As a white reader, it was important for me to read the ways Keda's family failed her by speaking for her or assuming they knew what she was feeling. The best intentions can be hurtful, and I think this book is a great opportunity to open conversations about that with young adults. Superbly written. Highly recommend!

Keda is adopted. Her mom, dad, and sister are white, and she is Black. She w
...more
Richelle Robinson
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
“I received a review copy from Amazon Vine and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review.”


This is a very important coming of age story that will stay with me for a long time.

This story is about Makeda aka Keda who is black, 11 years old and adopted. Her adoptive family is white. This story touches on Keda trying to find her identity, her struggles to fit in and her longing to know about her birth mother. My heart broke for K
...more
Carol Baldwin


Using free verse poetry and poetic prose, the novel provides powerful insight into eleven-year-old Makeda June Kirkland's reality. Readers are immersed into the life of a girl whose hippie mother named her after an Ethiopian girl who died in a famine. Makeda's response: "I like Keda for short. I am not a dead girl." (p. 8)

The book opens with Keda, her older sister Eve, and her used-to-be-concert-violinist mother driving across country to New Mexico to meet their father who has taken a job as the
...more
Ashleigh Rose
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars :)
Tori Glass
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is easily in my top 5 of 2019!
Makeda is an 11 year old girl who has always wondered how she fits into her family. Being adopted and black when the rest of her family is white, she often struggles to find her place. When Makeda’s family moves away from her only friend who completely understands her, Makeda feels like her world is crumbling. This coming of age story follows Makeda as she faces discrimination, making new friends (and keeping up with old ones), and finding herself and her
...more
Danielle Stinson
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I finished it with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart.

Lockington's writing is gorgeous. There were so many moments of beautiful imagery. Countless lines I stopped to read twice. The poetry in the book is lovely, and the letters between Keda and her best friend were one of my favorite parts. They were vibrant with humor and truth and a love you could feel.

Keda's voice sings through these pages. It drew me in from the first line and wrapped me up
...more
Laura
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh boy did I love this book!!!

Reason 1: I have students that will see so many mirrors of their own lives in Keda’s life in their own (black, smart, adopted, parents that don’t look like her, mental illness in the family, love of music/singing, being the new kid, being called an offensive name...)

Reason 2: I loved the mix of chapters written in prose with chapters written in verse or song lyrics. Although I do enjoy novels written entirely in verse, I feel like they often tend to fall flat when
...more
Kip
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely gorgeous. Five stars on the writing alone. So many touching, lovely images throughout, and the voice just hums with unique sentence structure and stylistic choices that show the reader so clearly who Keda is and who she wants to become. Such a lovable character! On top of all this, poems sprinkled throughout point to Keda's struggle as an adopted black girl in a white family, while that family threatens to combust with struggles of its own due to the adoptive mother's men ...more
Karen McKenna
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A heartbreaking, beautiful book about family, identity, and the messiness of being a human.

The story follows Makeda (Keda for short) through a move across the country with her family. While her older sister is outgrowing childhood and leaving Keda behind, Keda wrestles with being all alone in a new school where she experiences microaggressions and overt racism. To add to the loneliness, her father is busy with a new job, and her mother is slipping into a depression. Keda was adopted as a baby, a
...more
Valyncia Raphael
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I dare you to read this book and not have it change your life. This book moves you and gives you an insider perspective of the weight little black girls carry when they come of age in a white hippie family in the U.S. This book illuminates the intricacies of growing pains and love in contexts of family and friendship. As the character moves cross-country and spends the year adjusting, we are along for the ride to see what the transition is like at school and home with an physically absent (due t ...more
Shannon
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book. I loved the point of view of the main character, Makeda. Keda (as she likes to be called) is a 6th grade Black girl whose adopted (white) family has just moved to New Mexico from Baltimore. It’s hard to move across the country and switch schools in the middle of the year, especially when classmates are unkind and racist. Keda struggles to find friends and tension mounts as her dad leaves to tour with the symphony and her mother’s mental health deteriorates.

This book w
...more
Moriah
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a giveaway win and man was I excited to read it. I loved this. Highly recommend if you enjoy middle grade books!
Sam Bloom
Struggled between 3.5 and 4, but rounded up because this is the second book, for young people, that I’m aware of dealing with transracial adoption written by a woman of color who was herself a transracial adoptee. Yes, that’s a mouthful, but it’s also a BIG FUCKING DEAL. And seriously... 2. 2 books that fit this description in existence (that I am aware of, at least)
Erica
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book and I think the title was very apt-this book is for black girls like Keda. I very much appreciate that this book exists for black girls who have been adopted by white patents; for black girls that are the only black girl in their school; and for black girls that are homeschooled. This book was pretty sad, but it also held beautiful moments of pure joy that only middle schoolers can feel, and that’s super important. The friendship Keda had in the book was true to friendsh ...more
Lauren Manning
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been pushing myself to read books about characters that are different than me, and this is one book that nailed it with important topics of society today. It is important for me to read from the perspectives of different characters than what I am used to, and Keda's voice in this book did exactly that. Written from the perspective of a black, adopted young girl who is trying to figure out who she is was a great read for me and will be for others, whether it is a mirror or a window book for ...more
Franki Sibberson
There are very few books about adoption that deal with race and the issues around interracial adoption, especially for middle graders when often the issues become so complex. I thought this was a good book sharing some of the issues a black child faces as part of a white family. There is a huge thread about the mother's depression/undiagnosed bipolar and I thought it was a lot--the adoption/race issues as well as the depression/parenting issue. But it was done well and I think it is an important ...more
Alexis
What a beautiful story about family, belonging, and self-discovery. Here are some things I loved: short chapters. My MG students do so well with short chapters (and so do I!)
Wide-range of tough topics. Realistic characters who make mistakes and are human. Then, they grow. Finally, Keda. I loved her so much.

I received this book as part of the #LitReviewCrew in exchange for an honest review.
Joshunda Sanders
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a really special, beautiful middle grade book that touches on so many things young adoptees face across racial lines, mental health & the delicate beauty of becoming a young woman when you are a sweet little girl with an old soul. The cover is exquisite and it absolutely conveys the wonder and amazement that awaits readers inside the book. ...more
Krista
This started off as one thing but ended as another. I thought it was going to be about a girl’s search for identity, which it sort of was, but it wound up being more about her mentally ill mother. It was too disjointed, the author should have stuck to one theme. Plus, and l know this is petty, but the lack of comma use drove me straight up bonkers.
Susan
I know this is a review and not a journal entry, however I was almost finished a fairly lengthy review of this book when my phone rang, and then my review froze, and then it disappeared and that is SO frustrating!

I was really impressed with how many issues this book tackled and wove together successfully. If ever anyone asks for proof that young adult, tween, juvenile, children's, or whatever other label fits - literature is worthy of reading as an adult, this would be an easy and great example
...more
Teonna Taylor
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I want to chant Makeda's name as loud as I can. I wish I could hug her and sing her a song so she knows she is beautiful and brilliant. I want to sing her praises of love and laughter. But since I cannot, I will sing praises of this book.
I appreciated this book because of Makeda's strength, her honesty, sensitivity. Makeda is a 11 year old whose family is uprooted from Baltimore to New Mexico. To add to this pressure and stress, Makeda is an adopted daughter in a white family. While in New Mexic
...more
Barbara
This one is a 3.5 for me. Eleven-year-old Makeda June Kirkland (Keda) has just moved from Baltimore to Albuquerque with her parents and sister Eve. Keda is particularly troubled by having to leave behind her best friend, Lena, who shares some of her own experiences, but they arrange to pass a notebook with their thoughts back and forth through the mail. Her father is a talented musician who often travels for his job while her mother holds down the home front. Her mother is also a musician, but s ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Black Brother, Black Brother
  • Clean Getaway
  • Some Places More Than Others
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington
  • Maybe He Just Likes You
  • Ways to Make Sunshine
  • The Only Black Girls in Town
  • I Can Make This Promise
  • Prairie Lotus
  • Free Lunch
  • Genesis Begins Again
  • Something to Say
  • Efrén Divided
  • A High Five for Glenn Burke
  • A Good Kind of Trouble
  • Chirp
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
  • Each Tiny Spark
See similar books…
Mariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, writer, and nonprofit educator. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore short-alls and flower leggings every day to school. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Buzzfeed News Reader, and she is the author of the poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter. Mariama holds a Masters in Ed ...more

Articles featuring this book

Dhonielle Clayton is a YA author, a 2018 Goodreads Choice Award nominee, and the chief operating officer of We Need Diverse Books, a...
88 likes · 10 comments