Summary and book reviews of Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Piecing Me Together

by Renee Watson

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2017, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 5, 2018, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Bradley Sides

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About this Book

Book Summary

A timely and powerful story about a teen girl striving for success in a world that too often feels like it wants to break her.

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And she has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Except really, it's for black girls. From "bad" neighborhoods. And just because Maxine, her college-graduate mentor, is black doesn't mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

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1

español
Spanish language

I am learning to speak.

To give myself a way out. A way in.

2

tener éxito
to succeed

When I learned the Spanish word for succeed, I thought it was kind of ironic that the word exit is embedded in it. Like the universe was telling me that in order for me to make something of this life, I'd have to leave home, my neighborhood, my friends.

And maybe I've already started. For the past two years I've attended St. Francis High School on the other side of town, away from everything and everyone I love. Tomorrow is the first day of junior year, and you'd think it was my first day as a freshman, the way my stomach is turning. I don't think I'll ever get used to being at St. Francis while the rest of my friends are at Northside. I begged Mom to let me go to my neighborhood high school, but she just kept telling me, "Jade, honey, this is a good opportunity." One I couldn't pass up. It's the best private school in ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Part of what makes this story so wonderful is that Watson never condemns any one person or any one side of any issue. It’s both the mentor and the mentee who offer wisdom. The old life and new lifestyle both offer healthy contributions to Jade’s life. There is good to be found in the wealthy and the poor. Real life reflects this kind of healthy weaving of disparate parts and Watson reminds us that when everything works together, we often have a healthier whole.   (Reviewed by Bradley Sides).

Full Review Members Only (693 words).

Media Reviews

VOYA

Watson's story explores a number of important ideas: the challenges and rewards of interracial friendships, the realities of racial stereotyping, and the expression of ideas and emotions through art . . . Jade's is an important voice

Booklist

The book's defiance of a single-issue lens will surely inspire discussion and consideration.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. eeming with compassion and insight, Watson's story trumpets the power of artistic expression to re-envision and change the world.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. A timely, nuanced, and unforgettable story about the power of art, community, and friendship.

School Library Journal

Starred Review. This unique and thought-provoking title offers a nuanced meditation on race, privilege, and intersectionality.

Author Blurb Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming and Brown Girl Dreaming
Watson’s elegantly crafted novel speaks to the myriad of people who find themselves searching for themselves in the world . . . There is a little bit of Jade in all of us. As she and the rest of Watson’s characters jumped off the page and into my heart, I found myself again and again, remembering this.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

The Benefits of Mentorships

Mentor GraphicRenee Watson's excellent Young Adult novel Piecing Me Together follows the life of a high school junior. Jade, who is African American, receives a scholarship to a new, predominantly white school, and finds herself feeling alone. Her guidance counselor approaches her with information about participating in a mentorship program called Women to Women, which targets girls who are seen as being at risk. Jade is initially reluctant to participate; however, after she weighs the opportunities, she realizes that she should take advantage of the program. So, she does. She meets her mentor, Maxine, who is also African American. Maxine is a college graduate, and she's from a prosperous family. With Maxine by her side, Jade sees a side of ...

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