Well written, relevant and powerful

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True, True follows Gil, a 17-year-old Black student as he starts his senior year at an elite, mostly white prep school in Manhattan, commuting in from his Caribbean neighborhood in Brooklyn. Gil is dealing with a lot. His father is in Jamaica trying to work on immigration documents to be able to live in the US and his Granma has early-stage dementia. Gil is excited about the academic opportunities at Augustin Prep, especially the school's well-funded robotics team. He is blindsided when he is taunted with a racist slur and attacked by three of the school's football players. He discovers that institutionalized racism runs deep at the school when he is the only one suspended. He looks to Sun Tzu's The Art of War for guidance to fight racism at Augustin.
Gil organizes with the other black students who have also encountered everything from microaggressions to overt racism. He becomes overwhelmed juggling this fight with his academics, old friends from Brooklyn, new friends, and family commitments and must learn to prioritize and communicate better with those he cares about. Gil is a likeable character who feels very real, because he sometimes makes poor choices. He grows considerably throughout the course of the story. He realizes that even The Art of War doesn't have all the answers and must forge his own path. True True is often difficult to read because of the appalling racism encountered by Gil and the other students of color. True True is a well-written, immersive, relevant and powerful YA contemporary novel.