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by Renée Watson

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-5476-0060-1
Publisher: Bloomsbury

A summer of lessons on love of all kinds, particularly self-love.

It’s the summer before senior year for Harlem resident Nala Robertson, a 17-year-old Black girl of Jamaican descent. Nala’s list of things she wants to accomplish over the summer includes hanging out with her best friends, Imani and Sadie, and falling in love. Nala soon discovers that life does not always go according to plan. While some surprises may turn out better than she imagined—like the entrance of her new crush, Tye—some of life’s twists have her questioning her dreams and herself, forcing her to face new and uncomfortable realities. Nala’s world is made up of family and friends who are mainly strong, inspirational Black girls and women of varying sizes, complexions, and complexities. Nala’s journey of self-love and acceptance comes with emotional bumps and bruises, and Watson’s well-paced writing puts readers in Nala’s shoes with a delivery that consistently feels like a warm hug, supported by a throughline of love. Touching on social issues like racism, environmentalism, and body positivity, this story will resonate with readers who have questioned who they are, tried to change themselves to fit in, or are seeking their own voices.

A beautiful love story about finding one’s way back to one’s self.

(Fiction. 13-18)