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For Black Girls Like Me

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  299 ratings  ·  116 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―
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
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Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  299 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Aug 18, 2019 added it
This was... a lot. Trigger warning for attempted suicide.
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 thi
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
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: colorinyamg, all-mg
@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 ug
Pernille Ripp
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is in my top 3 of best books read this year hands down.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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)
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 fal
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.
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
Christina Carter
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Note: Review of Advance Reader's Edition | Book publishes 7/30/2019 #BookExcursion

Makeda June Kirkland is a transracial adoptee. An 11-year old Black girl with a White mother, father, and sister. Her move from Baltimore, MD to Albuquerque, NM, also makes her the new girl at a new school where she is grossly misunderstood by her peers. She's trying to come into her own in a world where she often feels like she doesn't fit in.  As it is said in the book's blurb, "For Black Girls Like M
Michelle (FabBookReviews)

4.5 stars

Author, adoptee, and non-profit educator Mariama J. Lockington debuts on the middle grade scene with the unforgettable and poignant novel For Black Girls Like Me.

A contemporary story centered around the first-person narrative of transracially adopted eleven year old Makeda 'Keda' Kirkland, For Black Girls Like Me follows Keda, her parents, and her older sister Eve, as they move from Baltimore to New Mexico. Unhappy about their move away from Maryland, Keda does her best to stay in
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
Mary Thomas
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
WOW! I loved this book. Mariama J. Lockington has written a fantastic and hard hitting middle grades novel. This would be great for ages 9-13. I'm glad we have multiple copies of it in our library.

So much of it was hard to read -especially Keda's experiences with racism and her mother's mental illness. This is going to be such an important story for many. I certainly learned a lot from reading it! Highly, highly recommend.
Kristin Thorsness
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mariama J. Lockington’s beautiful debut is definitely a book that will stick with me. It follows Keda, an eleven-year-old African American girl who was adopted into a white family. When her family moves, Keda has to take on being the new girl at school, missing her BFF, and escalating parental mental-health issues at home. The writing in this book—which takes the form of poetry, songs, blog posts, and prose—is gorgeous and I couldn’t put it down.
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.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a stand-alone read, this is an outstanding book for people of all ages. The story invites readers to exercise their empathy for those who have difficult encounters with depression and racism. The story is written in a lyrical, almost poetic voice that is also accessible and real. But, perhaps especially, I read this as a white grandfather to African-American kids. Here is was confronted by my own challenges and shortcomings. If you care about creating a multi-ethnic Canada (where I live now) ...more
A lot going on in this book,with not a lot of action. I've been waiting forever for an engaging book about interracial adoption. This represents many students at my school. I would have like to see more positives aspects to Keda's life. I worry that most of the representation for children of color only show struggle. I see many of my student's of color not wanting to seen that way.
4.5 stars
Asia Citro
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Easily one of the best books I've read in 2019. Loved the story, the writing, and the characters. What a spectacular read!
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.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is beautiful in so many ways. I love the style, I love Keda, and I love her story. I cannot wait to tell my students all about it!
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I *really* enjoyed reading this debut novel. It’s a quick and mostly easy read, but has more depth than I originally thought it would (from reading the description). I don’t want to spoil it for readers, so I’ll just say I didn’t anticipate the difficult life situation that Keda ended up facing before starting the book. I think that part of the story is one that will pair well with those looking to discuss mental health with middle grade students. I certainly could have used this a few years ago ...more
Rajani LaRocca
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written coming-of-age story about Keda, an adopted black girl being raised by white parents. After moving to a new place, Keda needs to navigate a new school, new friends, and her mother's worsening mental illness. Gorgeous writing and compelling characters!
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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