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While Erika comes to realize that she only likes white boys, "The Ugly One" has to come to terms with her own self-worth, in a collection of short stories about girls dealing with their identities, their relationships, and their place in the world, now published with two bonus stories. A Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Original.
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Sharon G. Flake won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award for her first novel The Skin I'm In and is a two-time Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book winner. Belived by children and adults, critics and booksellers, librarians and teachers, she is the author of six books for yourng adults that have sold more than half a million copies. The mother of a college-age daughter, Flake writes full time from her home in Pitsburgh.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Gr. 6-12. Hilarious and anguished, these 10 short stories about growing up black today speak with rare truth about family, friends, school, and especially about finding a boyfriend. Erika is a "ghetto girl" who likes white boys; she can't help it, and the other black kids in school can't stand her, because they know. Class is a big issue for Erin, who steals clothes so he can take a suburban girl to the homecoming dance. The church girls are forbidden to date, and they get hurt when they go hunting for boys. But their well-meaning parents don't have it right, and the girls won't stop looking. As with Janet MacDonald's fiction, the talk here is wild, angry, and outrageous, but there's no overt sex or obscenity. Yes, there are messages, but the narrative is never preachy or uplifting; it's honest about the pain. When one girl's boyfriend hits her, she apologizes "just like my momma does when daddy slaps her." The best advice comes from a dad who abandoned his family, who now tells his teenage daughter how to avoid getting stuck with someone like him ("you is so much more than a pretty face and a tight pair of jeans, some boy's girlfriend or some man's wife"). Not everyone makes it. The stories work because Flake never denies the truths of poverty, prejudice, and failure. Hazel Rochman
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