Into White

288p. ebook available. Feiwel & Friends. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250070210.
Gr 9 Up—After a terrible day at school, and humiliated by a fellow African American student, LaToya Williams decides she wants to be white. As a devoted Christian in Montgomery, AL, she calls upon Jesus to make her "anything but black." Miraculously, she wakes up with the features of a white girl. Her recent change is apparent to outsiders but not her family. For a brief moment, Toya lives life as a white teen and experiences different treatment from the kids at school and people in town. This troubling novel grapples with several conflicts, such as racism, colorism, and economic struggles within the black community. These sensitive topics, as well as rape, are ill portrayed and bleak. Although the ending tries to tie up loose ends, such as the protagonist reclaiming her beauty and speaking out against prejudice and her offender, the conclusion is resolved too quickly. Reading this would be a disservice to the targeted audience or those experiencing similar conditions as Toya. The underdeveloped characters and outlandish plot do an injustice to the issues explored in this work. Language and tone are also not authentic considering the narrator's age.
VERDICT Not recommended for any collection.

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