Thursday, March 18, 2010

When the Black Girl Sings

When the Black Girl Sings is the story of Lahni, a black girl adopted by white parents who are about to divorce. She is struggling in a lot of different ways: with snobby girls at school, with feeling betrayed by her father, with a strangely rude boy who is essentially stalking her. When it seems like nothing will ever go her way, she joins a church choir and becomes more confident and comfortable in her own skin.

Something I admire about this novel is that it is very clear that the boy who is stalking Lahni is out of line. So often, that rude boy character is revealed to have a soft interior and ends up in a relationship with the protagonist. This is not the case in When the Black Girl Sings and I feel that the novel is better for it.

Bil Wright does not tread on new territory here, but he does it with great respect for Lahni. I love teen novels where characters find their voice, both figuratively and literally.

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