cover image Chlorine Sky

Chlorine Sky

Mahogany L. Browne. Crown, $17.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-593-17639-9

With her sister constantly criticizing her and their single mother working long hours, Black teen Skyy loves nothing more than retreating to the basketball court, despite her male peers’ aggression, and spending time with her best friend of two years, Lay Li. But when the girls have a falling-out over the boy Lay Li is dating, who calls Skyy “black/ & ugly & stupid,” she must figure out how to face the world solo—navigating a romance of her own, considering her bond with Lay Li and male-driven narratives surrounding other young women, and slowly learning to gauge her own self-worth. In succinct free verse lines, Browne (Black Girl Magic) stirs up images that illuminate Skyy’s vibrant neighborhood (“The kind of folks that park on the lawn & clean they car/ with the Gap Band blasting out the door speakers”) and engage the senses (“Both hands grip the orange world/ ridges in black talk back”). Browne’s exploration of a teen finding herself moves rapidly, while Skyy’s journey toward self-love pulls at the heart. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary. (Jan.) [/em]