In this lyrical coming-of-age story about family, sisterhood, music, race, and identity, Mariama J. Lockington draws on some of the emotional truths from her own experiences growing up with an adoptive white family. I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda’s family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena–the only other adopted black girl she knows–for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend. Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me? Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world. For Black Girls Like Me is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do you figure out where you are going if you don’t know where you came from?
Meet the Author
Mariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, author, and nonprofit educator. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore shortalls and flower leggings every day to school. Her debut middle grade novel For Black Girls Like Me (FSG 2019) is a Junior Library Guild selection and has earned five starred reviews from Shelf Awareness, Publisher’s Weekly, BookPage, School Library Journal, and Booklist. Her second middle grade novel is forthcoming in 2021. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Buzzfeed News Reader, Bodega Magazine, and Prelude Magazine, and she is the author of the poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter (Damaged Goods Press, 2016). Mariama is a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Alum, a Voices of Our Nation Arts Alum, a Literary Death Match Champion and she holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and a Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry from San Francisco State University. Mariama calls many places home, but currently lives in Kentucky with her partner and her little sausage dog, Henry.