I absolutely loved this book! I suppose I’m a bit partial to stories told in poetry, as I’ve really enjoyed all of the YA novels I’ve read that are written this way, but I’m just so impressed at how these authors use this medium to tell incredibly powerful stories about difficult topics.
This particular book addresses issues of racism as well as tackling issues involved with being bi-racial in America, something that hits particularly close to home for me as I’m raising bi-racial children. While the story is set in 1969, I think so many of Mimi’s experiences still resonate today–everything from being followed around a store by a suspicious salesperson to being a wallflower at your first middle school dance.
Of course, the other aspect that I’ve fallen in love with in Marilyn Hilton’s writing is her ability to capture images so beautifully in her poetry. This section, towards the end of the novel, is particularly touching:
I used to think the people of Vermont
were like the snow–
and slow to thaw
But now I think
they’re what’s underneath.
Like the crocus bulbs making flowers all winter
in the dark earth–
invisible until they push through the snow–
and like the cicadas growing
underground for years–
until they burst from the ground–
the people of Vermont
do their hardest thinking
and their richest feeling
so no one can see.