Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Ibi Zoboi
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Seventeen of the best young adult authors have come together to share their unique perspectives and stories on growing up black in America. In Half a Moon, a teenager learns what it means to be a big sister. In Black Enough, a young man attempts to understand black identity and how others perceive him. Warning: Color May Fade looks at the experience of an art student trying to find her identity. The Ingredients is a sweet and funny story about young teenagers imagining the perfect lunch after the day at the pool. In Oreo, a young woman tries to gain the approval of her cousins and convince her parents that she should attend a historically black college. Samson and the Delilahs is about how a teenager is grappling with rebellion for the first time and the pressures of being the perfect kid for our parents. In Stop Playing, we follow the challenges of peer pressure and young relationships. Each of these stories is full of beautiful language and is a wonderful look into the unique experiences of growing up black in America.
Black Enough is a collection of short stories compiled to exhibit the many facets of the black experience in America, particularly for teenagers. In the introduction, Ibi Zoboi, the editor, tells us of her frustration of not feeling “black enough” because she was from Haiti and didn’t fit in with the New York idea of ‘blackness.’ Each author demonstrates in their story how everyone’s experience of growing up black in America is different and unique. Stories range from the ordinary and mundane to the traumatic and life-altering. They cover many different experiences, and readers will enjoy the variety. Like many short story collections, some of the stories will appeal to some readers more than others, and some may fall flat. However, there is something for everyone to learn from in these stories. The authors have poured themselves and their experiences into the tales they have told.
*Contains mild sexual content, mild language, and mild violence.