I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a beautifully written book about ugly subjects: sexual abuse, racism, classism, abandonment. Marie is a black girl from a well educated, affluent family. But that doesn't mean everything in her life is happy. Lena is a white girl from a poor family that just moved to town. The trashy side of town--literally--near the town dump. But that doesn't mean everything in Lena's life is shit. Both girls bond over their shared motherlessness, their ability to see the good in bad situations, and their feisty, fierce loyalty and concern for each other. In another writer's hands, the two girls, their schoolmates, their parents could have easily become caricatures, stereotypes in a "social issues" book, but Woodson treats them with the dignity and respect they deserve, fleshing them out into fully realized individuals who will stick with me for a long time.
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