Sunday, September 16, 2012

Camo Girl

Camo Girl
by Kekla Magoon
Ella and Z have been friends forever, both of them middle-school outsiders in their Las Vegas suburb. Ella is the only black girl in her grade and gets teased for the mottled colors of her face. (Her deceased father was white.) Z is the classic “weird kid” who maintains an elaborate—and public—fantasy life, starring himself as a brave knight. Though Z is content with his imagined world, Ella wishes for a larger group of friends, so she’s thrilled when Bailey, another black kid, arrives at their school. He’s popular and wants to befriend Ella—but to join the cool crowd, Ella would have to ditch Z. Does she stay loyal to the boy who has been her best and only friend for years, or jump at the chance to realize her dream of popularity? (description from

Though somewhat formulaic and with a few one-dimensional characters, this was a quick middle grade read that easily addresses a very important topic.  Ella has trouble accepting her racial identity because it literally is written all over her face and is commented on every day.  She is biracial and has mottled skin, allowing some bullies at school to tease her mercilessly.  It is not until another black student, one who becomes very, very popular, comes to her school and stands up for her, that her classmates see how hurtful they were being, thus allowing Ella to begin to find self-acceptance.

This book was easy to read and enjoyable.  It directly addresses a problem that many kids face today, self acceptance and discrimination.  There is definitely an audience out there for this book.

Full disclosure: Borrowed from my library

1 comment:

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