cover image Into White

Into White

Randi Pink. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-07021-0

Stuck in a mostly white high school in Montgomery, Ala., bullied by black students who should be her allies, Toya Williams prays to Jesus one night to be white. Lo and behold, she wakes up “white as a Bing Crosby Christmas,” though the change is invisible to her family. Blond, blue-eyed Toya (posing as an exchange student) is befriended by the white alpha girls and lusted after by the quarterback. It’s great until she realizes that being white means starving herself (size six is fat in her new world), hearing casual racial slurs, being expected to be available to popular guys, and betraying her beloved older brother. Debut author Pink cuts some corners: the white alphas are caricatures, Toya’s squabbling parents are painted with a broad brush, and the hero who helps Toya see the value in herself and her community seems too good to be true. But Pink isn’t afraid of being provocative (Jesus makes regular appearances), and the book dives into thorny issues of identity, self-image, and the internal effects of racism in a strikingly frank way. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Marietta Zacker, Gallt Zacker Literary. (Sept.) [/em]