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  • Writer's pictureValerie Petry

Htown Book Nook: The Skin I'm In by Sharon G. Flake

Sometimes a person needs to know that there is someone in their corner. That regardless of what they are going through, there's someone who can relate to their struggles. This is where they often find strength to believe in themselves and make moves. Maleeka Madison is struggling against burdens of low self-esteem that many darker skinned girls face, the loss of her father, and the being the support system her mom needs. In walks Miss Saunders, whose skin is blotched with a rare skin condition, who serves as the example of what Maleeka can be if she learns to embrace the skin that she is in.

I'm going to give my first official review on this book. I hope I don't give away too many spoilers! I on yesterday, April 13, 2024, went to Half Price Books just to get out of the house! I call it one of my 'Field trips'. I'm here at home 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, and I needed to get some Vitamin D! So off to the bookstore I went. I got this book The Skin I'm In , by Sharon G. Flake, out of the clearance section. I had given myself a 10.00 limit, so it was find a few books in the clearance, section or maybe one or tow from the regular shelves. I read this book in one sitting. It's not a thick book, but it caught my attention from the first page.

This book not only involves the act of bullying, it also shines a light on the death of a close loved one, and how it can affect family, and sometimes disrupt lives. There's also the theme of impoverished schools, and the teachers who are trying to keep themselves as well as students afloat. It shows how fearful and doubtful people can be to opening up to change and taking risks. This book is a Young Adult Fiction that reads really well. The chapters are well mapped out. There isn't any funky repetition. However, it can be a read for all ages and gender. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. The lessons here can be learned by anyone.

Miss Saunders showing up as a new teacher with a strange skin disorder, and shining bright like a diamond definitely stirs things up in school. I love that she not only shows POC that the opportunity to be successful is within anyone's grasp. She challenges her students to try and look at things outside of the box. She doesn't back down from the bullying she receives from her students, and this is what brings change in all of them including Maleeka. Even though things get wild and out of hand, her presence encourages change for the good. I learned that it's never too late to seek one's dreams. This includes changing your career, or applying for another job. Finding what fits you and makes you happy can make the world of a difference.

My favorite character is Caleb. Because, he understands where he's made a mistake by Maleeka, and does what it takes to make things right. He's also my favorite character, because he has great 'character'. He isn't afraid to do what's right, and has chosen to be a beacon in the community alongside his parents. He's chose to add positivity to those he's around. I give this book a 5 star, and would definitely recommend it to other young adults and grown ups as well!

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