Black, White, Other

Front Cover
Zondervan, 2011 - Juvenile Fiction - 222 pages
20 Reviews

"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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Review: Black, White, Other: In Search of Nina Armstrong

User Review  - Goodreads

I read this book with the 13-year-old that I tutor, and my God, is it heavy-handed. Even my tutee thought that the main character's motivations and the ending were "lame" (what I like to call "nonsensical bullshit"). Read full review

Review: Black, White, Other: In Search of Nina Armstrong

User Review  - Goodreads

I think the idea for this story, the struggles of the racially mixed young girl, was idustrious but reading the story was exhausting. I was annoyed with all the characters. The back story that Nina was reading was more interesting. I just didn't enjoy the writing for the present-day story. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Joan Steinau Lester, Ed.D., is the author of three nonfiction books for adults, the most recent being Fire in My Soul, a civil rights biography of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. The former executive director of the Equity Institute, a national diversity consulting firm, she is a frequent NPR commentator and print columnist, as well as a Bellwether Prize finalist; Black, White, Other: Searching for Nina Armstrong is her debut novel for young adults.