by Sharon M. Draper
In Blended, Isabella, or Izzie (as her mom calls her), is a sixth grade girl whose mom is white and dad is black. She isn’t sure about her identity, but is leaning more towards black since her skin isn’t white and her hair isn’t blonde like her mom’s. Not only is she a “blend” of colors/races, but her parents are divorced and each have a new family, so she is part of a blended family. Isabella is put in the middle of her parents’ custody disagreement when they start to fight in front of her, and Isabella can’t take it anymore. To top it all off, someone at school has played a racist prank on one of her best friends, and Isabella is sick of fending off comments about her identity as a mixed race girl. A major event causes her family members to look deeper at their relationship with Isabella and with each other.
What I liked about this book was that it addresses the issue of being mixed race in today’s climate, which you don’t see much in literature these days, especially children’s literature. It also addresses the bitterness that can come from divorce, and putting children in the middle of it. I can already think of at least 3 students in my class who will be able to relate to that aspect of the story, although really, it’s the parents who need to read this book.
What I didn’t like about this book was that the issue of rude comments wasn’t really addressed with one of Isabella’s friends. I am white, but my children are mixed race, and I am not sure if they will have to address these questions. I’m not sure they’d be offended by them, but that is my white privilege, not knowing and not fully understanding that perspective.
Book 4 of 2019