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Young Adult February '22: When You Look Like Us

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When You Look Like Us

By: Pamela N. Harris
Trade Paperback
Young Adult February 2022
*Shipped February 2022*



Synopsis:

A 2022 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work nominee and a 2022 Edgar Award nominee, this timely, gripping teen novel is about a boy who must take up the search for his sister when she goes missing from a neighborhood where Black girls’ disappearances are too often overlooked, from debut author Pamela Harris. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Tiffany D. Jackson.

When you look like us—brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades—everyone else thinks you’re trouble. No one even blinks twice over a missing Black girl from public housing because she must’ve brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister Nicole just got caught up with her boyfriend—a drug dealer—and his friends. But she’s been gone too long. Nic, where are you?

If I hadn’t hung up on her that night, she would be at our house, spending time with Grandma.

If I was a better brother, she’d be finishing senior year instead of being another name on a missing persons list.

It’s time to step up, to do what the Newport News police department won’t.

Bring her home.

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Customer Reviews

Vicki S. - 05/01/2022

A thought-provoking story with realistic teen characters

Jay has had enough when it comes to his sister Nic. He decides he’s tired of covering for her when she’s not making the best decisions and blows off a phone call from Nic one Thursday night. When Nic doesn’t come home on Friday and then goes MIA over the weekend, Jay knows something’s not right. He seeks help at the police station but finds little concern because of his sister’s neighborhood and choice of company, so he starts sleuthing on his own to find out what happened to Nic. Pamela Harris has crafted a great YA story of a young black man working against stereotypes within his community and himself as he tries to find out what happened to his only sibling. Jay is a relatable teen character who takes on a great deal of responsibility when he feels he has nowhere else to turn. He comes to many realizations during his search and his newfound maturity helps him move past his fears to embrace the opportunities before him. Jay’s perseverance and love for his sister and grandmother are palpable throughout the novel and I was turning the pages hoping he would be successful in his search for Nic. Check this one out for a well-balanced story with realistic teen characters and a thought-provoking plot. There’s some humor, tension, romance, and drama to give you all the feels and keep you reading to see how it all turns out.

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