Fantastic Middle Grade Novel

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kdresker Avatar


Marlene is a beautiful young girl whose definition of beauty is being overrun by societal norms, bullies, and her mother's wishes. Marlene is a spunky middle schooler trying to figure out who she is and why others believe that hair determines who a person is. This fast read contained a powerful lesson on beauty and enough emotion to pull a few happy tears from me. Young readers will enjoy following Marlene as she navigates negative peer relations, a supportive best friend, hair salons, and her culture while discovering her identity. I myself learned a lot from Marlene about hair types and the POV of a young person struggling to figure out how to adapt parental expectations with personal style. I think this will relate to many adolescents. This is a colorful novel with a positive, hopeful message that I wouldn't hesitate to share with my middle schoolers.