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Follow the Author
What Lane? Kindle Edition
About the Author
* “Engaging, timely novel. . . . Maldonado (Tight) paints a vivid, relatable picture of an adventurous boy learning the rewards and dangers of straying out of his lane against the backdrop of an unfair system that could see him killed or arrested for the behaviors his white peers easily engage in. The characters are warmly realistic, by turns impulsive and regretful. In relatively few words, Maldonado elucidates matters related to racial profiling, police violence against black people, and allyship, all through the eyes of a brave kid trying to figure out who he is and where he belongs.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* “Maldonado depicts his young hero’s awakening to the ugly realities of contemporary American racism. Caught between his best friend Dan, and Dan’s racist cousin Chad; straddling the line between his overprotective, naive white mother and his realist, all-too-aware Black father; and doing his best to integrate his middle school friend group, biracial Stephen is finding it tricky to ‘stay wide in all lanes.’ . . . Maldonado uses a biracial adolescent boy’s perspective to draw his readers into an engaging story of identity and tough choices that will appeal to middle schoolers everywhere. An ideal choice for school book clubs and advisory.”—School Library Journal, starred review
“Sixth-graders Stephen and Dan are so close that they could be twins aside from their race difference, but that difference is beginning to matter to the outside world. . . . Presents an honest account of a Black boy who has to grow up faster than his white friends, all while wishing his friend groups could just be together regardless of race. . . . Makes the point that the frequency of racist encounters means they’re daunting yet mundane, and there is an interesting dynamic between Stephen’s Black father and white mother, who both want to protect their son but take different approaches. His father and friend Wes both tie in real life details about current events such as Tamir Rice’s shooting and the Black Lives Matter movement, which adds to the authenticity and could make this selection a discussion starter.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B07W78PNJH
- Publisher : Nancy Paulsen Books (14 April 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 3640 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 139 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #368,693 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
Stephen, 12, is half black, half white and is starting to see the prejudice and racism directed towards him that his white friendships don’t face. His black father lovingly prepares him with advice like “think twice before you act once” and “fires don’t put out fires, be chill to cool things off” so Stephen can face the truth about how others can perceive him as a growing black boy. Powerful read with real events that prove injustices exist, tackled in such a way that Middle Grade & Middle School readers will build empathy. I cannot wait for my students to read this one and am recommending it to any adult/kid who wants to know better & do better.
Think this book is too much for your white tween or teen to handle? Think again. Your white children will cheer Stephen on as he learns more about himself, his world, and which lanes he wants to pursue in life, and they will find a role model in Dan, a young white man who learns what it means to be a true ally for his friend. Think this book is too much for your Black or Brown child? No way. Kids of color will find a role model in Stephen as he comes of age and learns how to protect himself and love himself in a world of prejudice that does not yet completely love him back. A solid choice for any kid, but exceptional for reluctant readers because of its slim length. Think a middle-grade Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give that shines in its own light, too.
(Also, the audiobook is outstanding, too! I read and listened to each separately and enjoyed them both.)
Maldonado writes in a way that middle schoolers can relate to and understand. He uses pop culture references and writes as if he remembers exactly what is was like to be and think like a middle schooler. Readers will be wondering how Stephen handles the tricky and turbulent road of hanging with his peers. They will be rooting for him to see which friends are honest and true. Maldonado’s books engage a diversity of readers and brings middle school book talks to life!
And, right now What Lane? is the book you want your readers talking about during such a critical time to engage young minds in these conversations. What Lane? gives middle grade readers that opportunity. I highly recommend it for all classroom and home libraries.