Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com
Ms. Sanders pulls no punches with this honest and gripping story of racial tension and hate at Prescott High.
This is the story of Brandy Morgan. She is a typical teenager, wanting to fit in and have friends. But she's black and poor. Not the qualities needed to be cool at Prescott High. Cool would be Ian Fuller and his buddies.
Brandy gets the feeling that Ian isn't like his friends. He's not outwardly cruel to Brandy. He just ignores her when his friends are around. But Brandy is persistent and keeps trying to befriend Ian. Finally, Ian takes up Brandy's offer to help tutor him in math. From there, their friendship blossoms.
But not without problems. The high school students will not tolerate the mixing of the two races. Brandy is harassed and assaulted in various ways. No one should be subjected to the humiliations that Brandy must endure. As Ian's feeling for Brandy change, he is drawn into her everyday troubles.
The reader gets a glimpse inside Brandy's mind with excerpts from her diary. It gives insight to her unwavering spirit, but also her struggles not to hate those that seem to hate her.
This is not an easy book to read. It brings forward feelings of racial tension and distrust of someone that is different from yourself. It's hard to imagine that such reactions are still present in modern society, but current events make it all too clear that it's still prevalent in our generation.
Ms. Sanders closes out the book with examples of recent hate crimes that were in the media. Fans of the A&E program American Justice will be familiar with two of the cases listed: Teena Brandon and Matthew Shepard.
I suggest this book as recommended reading to everyone. If nothing else, it would provide a heated discussion on where our society is headed.