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Jade is a junior at an affluent, private, mostly white high school. She’s an excellent student and a talented collage artist who attends the school on scholarship. She also happens to be African American and lives in a low-income neighborhood.

For that reason, she is put into a mentoring program that matches “at-risk” teen girls with women who can help steer them in the right direction. Her mentor, Maxine, is only a few years out of college and is still trying to find her own way in life.

Grateful for her opportunities, Jade is nevertheless tired of being viewed as a project while everyone else assumes they know her needs. She and her mother may not have a lot of money, but they are a loving family. Jade’s ambitions are not about getting out of her neighborhood; she wants to understand more of the world but she doesn’t intend to leave her life behind.

It’s time to speak up for herself, and Jade has to find her voice. This insightful and moving young adult novel reminds readers to see all people as wholly individual. Ages 12 and up. (Bloomsbury)

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