cover image Black Like Kyra, White Like Me

Black Like Kyra, White Like Me

Judith Vigna. Albert Whitman & Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-0778-0

The narrator of this predictable but worthwhile story is thrilled when her best friend Kyra Kirk's family moves in next door. Unfortunately, some of the neighbors are not at all pleased to be joined by African Americans. Even the girl's mother expresses hesitation, remarking that she is going to wait to get to know Kyra's mother better before inviting her for coffee. One family after another leaves the neighborhood picnic in quick succession when the Kirks arrive, but someone returns to overturn the food tables and let the air out of the tires on the Kirks' van. In the end, one of the prejudiced families moves away, and the friendship between the narrator and Kyra--effectively portrayed in Vigna's soft, evocative watercolors--deepens. Though her writing is occasionally labored and prosaic, the author ( Boot Weather ; Nobody Wants a Nuclear War ) puts across an important message. Ages 7-11. (Sept.)