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From The Notebooks of Melanin Sun
by Jacqueline Woodson
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 12 and up
PUBLISHER: Putnam Juvenile
YEAR PUBLISHED: 1995
NO. PAGES: 141
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Male
AWARD{S}:
Margaret A. Edwards Award
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book
ISBN: 0399252800
READ & REVIEWED BY: Shannon - StorySnoop


The Story
From The Notebooks of Melanin Sun—Book Review

As long as fourteen-year-old Mel can remember, it has always been just him and his mom, EC. He likes it that way. Comfortable in their small Brooklyn neighborhood, Mel is happy hanging out with his friends and contemplating his next move with his crush Angie, while EC is busy with law school. Then one day, EC tells Mel that she is in love -- with a white woman -- and Mel's world as he knows it is turned upside down. He must make sense of what this means about his mother, how it will affect his friendships, and how he feels about himself.
The Scoop
From The Notebooks of Melanin Sun—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

This is an exceptionally well-written and age-appropriate book about a boy's conflicting feelings after learning that his mother is gay. Initially upset, he expresses his thoughts in notebooks. Through these notebooks, the reader is able to understand Mel's fears (of losing his mother, of what others will think) and his own initial prejudices about Kristen, the girlfriend, because she is white. As feared, one of Mel's friends makes some disparaging remarks about his mother, and Mel punches him. However, Mel's other best friend supports him. Mel and his mom have a supportive and loving relationship. A message is made about the importance of living your life without worrying about other people's judgements. Homophobic slurs are made -- Mel's friends think his stamp collecting hobby is "faggy" and his mother is called a "dyke" and a "queer." Mel experiences his first kiss with Angie. Through the course of the book, Mel grows from a somewhat ignorant and close-minded boy to someone who understands that love comes in all colors and genders. He realizes that family and love are the most important things in life, regardless of the shape they may take.
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From The Notebooks of Melanin Sun—Book Review

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