Piecing Me Together: 12/10/17
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson is set in Portland, Oregon. It's told from the perspective of Jade, a Black teen who is coming into her own as a collage artist. She has grown up believing she has to escape her neighborhood if she is to make anything of her life. That means going across town to a better school, going abroad in school, so she can later get a scholarship to a college.
But everything seems stacked against her. Her teacher and guidance counsellor expect her to participate in a mentoring program before she would even be considered for the study abroad program. It doesn't matter that she's already one of the best students in the Spanish program. She's Black. She's poor. Therefore she has to prove herself in ways that her White counterparts don't have to.
Does it piss her off? You bet it does. But she also gets access to things she would never get on her mother's income. She gets to go to museums and art galleries and meet people who are interested in her art. But it's also tearing her apart from the one person who has her back more than anyone else — her mother. That's hard to recognize though when her mother is strict when she's home and absent often because of her long hours of work.