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The Life I'm In



by
Sharon G. Flake

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Scholast
Imprint
Print
ISBN
9781338573176
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language , Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Marijuana Use , Sexual Content: Contact Between Adult and Minor , Violence: Domestic/Physical Abuse , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse , Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape Reference/Discussion , Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion , Violence: General
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JLG Category

City High School

The powerful and long-anticipated companion to The Skin I'm In, Sharon Flake's bestselling modern classic, presents the unflinching story of Char, a young woman trapped in the underworld of human trafficking.

My feet are heavy as stones when I walk up the block wondering why I can't find my old self.

In The Skin I'm In, readers saw into the life of Maleeka Madison, a teen who suffered from the ridicule she received because of her dark skin color. For decades fans have wanted to know the fate of the bully who made Maleeka's life miserable, Char.

Now in Sharon Flake's latest and unflinching novel, The Life I'm In, we follow Charlese Jones, who, with her raw, blistering voice speaks the truths many girls face, offering insight to some of the causes and conditions that make a bully. Turned out of the only home she has known, Char boards a bus to nowhere where she is lured into the dangerous web of human trafficking. Much is revealed behind the complex system of men who take advantage of vulnerable teens in the underbelly of society. While Char might be frightened, she remains strong and determined to bring herself and her fellow victims out of the dark and back into the light, reminding us why compassion is a powerful cure to the ills of the world.

Sharon Flake's bestselling, Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel The Skin I'mIn was a game changer when it was first published more than twenty years ago. It redefined young adult literature by presenting characters, voices, and real-world experiences that had not been fully seen. Now Flake offers readers another timely and radical story of a girl on the brink and how her choices will lead her to either fall, or fly.Research and resources. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Strong Language , Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Marijuana Use , Sexual Content: Contact Between Adult and Minor , Violence: Domestic/Physical Abuse , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse , Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape Reference/Discussion , Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion , Violence: General

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

336

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Mar 2021

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Human trafficking. African American teenage girls. Interpersonal relations. Life on the street. Friendship. Self-esteem and self-reliance.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Charlese Jones, best known as the bully to Maleeka Madison in Flake’s The Skin I’m In, had a great life until her parents’ death. After this trauma, her family has a hard time continuing to function and her older sister is named her legal ­guardian. Char, who is African American, is on a downward spiral and is sent to live with her grandparents. On the way there, she is lured into human trafficking. She must find a way to help herself and the others with her. The powerful idea that you can’t understand why a person acts the way they do without fully understanding their story takes center stage in this novel. Teens will be able to connect to Char, and learn from her. The topics discussed are relevant and portrayed realistically, though the book may be triggering for some readers. If they have read the first book the character development will take on a deeper meaning, but this is truly its own story. VERDICT The long-awaited companion novel to The Skin I’m In does not disappoint. Recommend to readers who enjoyed Kim ­Johnson’s This Is My America.–­Elizabeth Pelayo, St. Charles East H.S., IL

Horn Book

At sixteen, Char (the bully from The Skin I’m In, 1998), who’s been expelled from several schools, is on the way to live with her grandparents, sent by her sister in hopes of turning her life around. During the multi-day bus ride (where most of the story takes place), Char decides to try to make it on her own; she also befriends a young mother—who then disappears from a station, leaving Char with the baby. She encounters a man named Anthony, who approaches her with money and kind words, but the dangerous motives behind his generosity are quickly revealed. This compelling look into the sex trafficking world through the eyes of a complex protagonist should help to start conversations about the painful realities for many young victims. For Char, the nightmare ends—thankfully—when she escapes, and her friends and family begin to help her recover. Back matter includes an author’s note explaining Flake’s rationale for telling this story, as well as a bibliography. NICHOLL DENICE MONTGOMERY

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–Charlese Jones, best known as the bully to Maleeka Madison in Flake’s The Skin I’m In, had a great life until her parents’ death. After this trauma, her family has a hard time continuing to function and her older sister is named her legal ­guardian. Char, who is African American, is on a downward spiral and is sent to live with her grandparents. On the way there, she is lured into human trafficking. She must find a way to help herself and the others with her. The powerful idea that you can’t understand why a person acts the way they do without fully understanding their story takes center stage in this novel. Teens will be able to connect to Char, and learn from her. The topics discussed are relevant and portrayed realistically, though the book may be triggering for some readers. If they have read the first book the character development will take on a deeper meaning, but this is truly its own story. VERDICT The long-awaited companion novel to The Skin I’m In does not disappoint. Recommend to readers who enjoyed Kim ­Johnson’s This Is My America.–­Elizabeth Pelayo, St. Charles East H.S., IL

Horn Book

At sixteen, Char (the bully from The Skin I’m In, 1998), who’s been expelled from several schools, is on the way to live with her grandparents, sent by her sister in hopes of turning her life around. During the multi-day bus ride (where most of the story takes place), Char decides to try to make it on her own; she also befriends a young mother—who then disappears from a station, leaving Char with the baby. She encounters a man named Anthony, who approaches her with money and kind words, but the dangerous motives behind his generosity are quickly revealed. This compelling look into the sex trafficking world through the eyes of a complex protagonist should help to start conversations about the painful realities for many young victims. For Char, the nightmare ends—thankfully—when she escapes, and her friends and family begin to help her recover. Back matter includes an author’s note explaining Flake’s rationale for telling this story, as well as a bibliography. NICHOLL DENICE MONTGOMERY

Grades 10 & Up
City High School
For Grades 10 & Up

Teen readers looking for realistic city settings and urban themes will enjoy these often-gritty titles that deal with contemporary situations and feature ethnically and culturally diverse characters. These titles will have special appeal for urban teens who want to see their own lives reflected in the books they read. Readers interested in the excitement and challenges of a city setting will also be drawn to the 12 books that comprise this category.

12 books per Year
$214.20 per Year
Interests
Diversity,Fiction,Mature Readers,LGBTQ+,Novels,Realistic Fiction
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