Black, White, Other: In Search of Nina Armstrong
'The tenderness and truth of the book moved my heart. As well as the enormous love.' - Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple Identity Crisis. As a biracial teen, Nina is accustomed to a life of varied hues---mocha-colored skin, ringed brown hair streaked with red, a darker brother, a black father, a white mother. When her parents decide to divorce, the rainbow of Nina's existence is reduced to a much starker reality. Shifting definitions and relationships are playing out all around her, and new boxes and lines seem to be getting drawn every day. Between the fractures within her family and the racial tensions splintering her hometown, Nina feels caught in a perpetual battle. Feeling stranded in the nowhere land between racial boundaries, and struggling for personal independence and identity, Nina turns to the story of her great-great-grandmother's escape from slavery. Is there direction in the tale of her ancestor? Can Nina build her own compass when landmarks from her childhood stop guiding the way?
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Issues of race and identity. This young-adult book will strike a chord with many of today's youngsters, either because they find themselves in this situation, or because others they know are struggling with similar problems to Nina. Nina is American, has a white mother, black father and a mixed brother who is darker than she is. She hadn't seen this as a problem until her parents decide to divorce and she stays with her mother, while her younger brother goes to live with her Dad. At the same time, her classmates suddenly seem to have a problem with her colour, which didn't seem to be an issue before - is this because she has become more aware of race, or just an age thing, as teenagers grow and become more self-aware? Either way, Nina finds herself fitting into neither the black, white, nor mixed-race camps. An interesting side theme has Nina's Dad writing a book about his Great-Grandmother, Sarah Armstrong, who lived as a slave and, at fifteen, escaped to Canada. Nina gradually reads the chapters of her father's book as he writes them and it does serve to put her struggles into some sort of perspective. There are certainly similarities when Nina decides to run away from home, but no-one is chasing her to bring her back into captivity, or threatening to beat her almost to death. The ending was a little contrived, but the message was clear enough. I listened to this in Audible format, excellently read by Bahni Turpin. I see the author has a second novel, recently released, Mama's Child, on a similar theme. Although not currently available on Audible, I will certainly be on the look-out for this one.
Review: Black, White, Other: In Search of Nina ArmstrongUser Review - Goodreads
Issues of race and identity. This young-adult book will strike a chord with many of today's youngsters, either because they find themselves in this situation, or because others they know are ...