Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Keeping It Real



by
Paula Chase

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
HarperCollins
Imprint
Greenwillow Bks.
ISBN
9780062965691
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Language: Mild Language
$20.16   $16.80
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY

JLG Category

Advanced Readers

Marigold Johnson is looking forward to a future full of family, friends, and fashion—but what will she do when it all explodes in her face? When she discovers that her entire life is a lie? Paula Chase, the acclaimed author of So Done, Dough Boys, and Turning Point, explores betrayal, conformity, and forgiveness—and what it means to be family—in this stand-alone novel. For fans of Jason Reynolds, Rebecca Stead, and Renée Watson.

Marigold Johnson has always lived between two worlds, the elite private school she attends and the Black working-class neighborhood where her parents grew up—the neighborhood they still support. It’s a dance she’s used to. Mari is looking forward to attending a special program at her family’s business, Def Unlimited, for teens who love fashion. But Mari quickly realizes that she’s out of place with the three other trainees—and one girl, Kara, seems to hate her on sight. As tension builds and the stakes at the program get higher, Mari uncovers exactly why Kara’s been so spiteful. She also discovers some hard truths about herself and her family

Keeping it Real is about the pressure to conform; how Black people are expected to erase their Blackness in white spaces, and the cost of that erasure when they re-engage with Black communities. It’s also a powerful exploration of what happens when parents pick and choose what they shield their children from.

Timely and memorable, Paula Chase’s character-driven story shines with themes of friendship, creativity, art, fashion, and music. A great choice for the upper middle grade audience.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Language: Mild Language

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

368

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

4.8: points 10

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Feb 2022

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

African American girls. African American families. Black people. Apprenticeship programs. Fathers and daughters. Secrecy. Sisters. Friendship. Fashion design.

Standard MARC Records

Download Standard MARC Records

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Fourteen-year-old Marigold is the heiress apparent to a thriving hip-hop and clothing empire, Flexx Unlimited, owned by her adoring parents. She and her best friend (and secret crush) Justice are two of the only Black students at an elite private school in DC; Marigold attends because her parents are wealthy, and Justice because he has an athletic scholarship. When Justice announces that he is planning on pursuing a summer internship with her parents' company through a special fashion program designed to help young people from some of DC's poorest backgrounds, Mari decides to join the program as well. Because she is the bosses' daughter and comes from privilege, she feels excluded from the other interns, including Justice. One of the interns in particular seems to have a mysterious grudge against her, the origin of which is revealed in the 12th hour of the novel. The book reads a bit like an after-school special. Mari's relationship with her parents seems a little too easy, even when she discovers they've lied to her, and the resolution of the story arrives abruptly and is slightly on the saccharine side. Nevertheless, the book does a refreshing job exploring friendship, socioeconomic classes, and race without being too didactic or heavy. VERDICT Although an unrealistic resolution and speedy ending hamper the novel, middle grade readers who enjoy stories about fashion and friendship, rooted in real-world issues, will enjoy.-Jennifer Knight

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Fourteen-year-old Marigold is the heiress apparent to a thriving hip-hop and clothing empire, Flexx Unlimited, owned by her adoring parents. She and her best friend (and secret crush) Justice are two of the only Black students at an elite private school in DC; Marigold attends because her parents are wealthy, and Justice because he has an athletic scholarship. When Justice announces that he is planning on pursuing a summer internship with her parents' company through a special fashion program designed to help young people from some of DC's poorest backgrounds, Mari decides to join the program as well. Because she is the bosses' daughter and comes from privilege, she feels excluded from the other interns, including Justice. One of the interns in particular seems to have a mysterious grudge against her, the origin of which is revealed in the 12th hour of the novel. The book reads a bit like an after-school special. Mari's relationship with her parents seems a little too easy, even when she discovers they've lied to her, and the resolution of the story arrives abruptly and is slightly on the saccharine side. Nevertheless, the book does a refreshing job exploring friendship, socioeconomic classes, and race without being too didactic or heavy. VERDICT Although an unrealistic resolution and speedy ending hamper the novel, middle grade readers who enjoy stories about fashion and friendship, rooted in real-world issues, will enjoy.-Jennifer Knight

Grades 6-9
Advanced Readers
For Grades 6-9

Your pre-teen and teen readers won't be able to get enough of these selections. The 12 books here are a bit longer than our B category titles, with more challenging storylines and a wealth of thought-provoking nonfiction.

12 books per Year
$243.96 per Year
Interests
Clean Books,Diversity,Fiction,High Interest/Reluctant Reader,Struggling Readers,Novels,Funny/Humorous,Realistic Fiction
Like this book?
Get more like this every month.
LEARN MORE
Grades 6-9
Advanced Readers
12 books per Year
$243.96 per Year

Other Recommended Titles From Advanced Readers

The Bluest Sky

by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Advanced Readers

January 2023

Advanced Readers

December 2022

Unfadeable

by Maurice Broaddus

Advanced Readers

November 2022

The First Rule of Climate Club

by Carrie Firestone

Advanced Readers

October 2022
Copyright © 2017 Magento, Inc. All rights reserved.