Chlorine Sky – Mahogany L. Browne


  Chlorine Sky – Mahogany L. Browne; Crown; (9780593176399), 2021

Format: hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

Genre: realistic fiction; novel in verse

What did you like about the book? In this novel in verse, an unnamed (until the end) teen girl steps from the spotlight of her former best friend, Lay Li. The main character is best known for her basketball prowess, but has struggled with her identity as a Black girl. Should she be sexual or should she hide that part of her? How can she move on after losing her best friend? What if that best friend was not actually her “friend?” As Skyy explores her feelings about her friendship with Lay Li, as well as her feelings for a boy, she discovers that maybe she needs to work on loving herself first. In addition, a healthy friendship with a new girl helps her see her previous toxic relationships in a new light. 

“But everything is everything when you are just who you are / No one special enough to cause a stir / No one who would cause boys to break their necks / I ain’t mad that I don’t stand out / I just know I’ve never stood out before.”

This novel in verse is an important text for young Black girls to help see themselves in the world. The verse flows beautifully and is sparse, but powerful.

To whom would you recommend this book? Students who like novels in verse by Jason Reynolds, Elizabeth Acevedo, or Jacqueline Woodson

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

Who should buy this book? All high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Novel in verse

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Date reviewed: January 26, 2021

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