cover image The Only Black Girls in Town

The Only Black Girls in Town

Brandy Colbert. Little, Brown, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-45638-8

Twelve-year-old surfing fanatic Alberta has lived in Ewing Beach, Calif., with her fathers for much of her life. Her family is one of the only Black families in town, until the Whitmans buy the old bed and breakfast across the street. Goth Edie, the same age as Alberta, is nothing like her. She’s a proud Brooklyn native; she wears all black, down to the black lipstick she’s never without; and she doesn’t understand why everyone in Ewing loves the beach. And while Edie’s parents are divorcing, Alberta’s dads remain deeply in love. Despite their differences, the two become fast friends just as Alberta’s lifelong best friend, who is white, begins drifting toward the popular girl who has bullied Alberta with racist taunts for years. When Alberta and Edie find a set of mysterious journals in Edie’s new house, they also uncover an enduring secret. Imperfect, vulnerable characters take center stage in Colbert’s middle grade debut about growing up on the margins in the past and present. Colbert employs a compulsively readable style to convey the sometimes difficult experience of young friendship, and the power and peril of claiming one’s identity out loud. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. (Mar.) [/em]