This Side of Home
"Writing with the artfulness and insights of African American teen-lit pioneers Rita Williams-Garcia, Angela Johnson, and Jacqueline Woodson, Watson shows Maya exploring concerns rarely made this accessible . . . essential for all collections." --starred review, Booklist
"An intriguing look at how families and young people cope with community and personal change. Readers may be surpised to find this multicultural story set in Portland, Oregon, but that just adds to its distinctive appeal. Here's hoping Watson's teen debut will be followed by many more." --Kirkus Reviews
"Watson delivers a well-rounded, delicate, and important story without sacrificing any heart. An engrossing and timely coming-of-age story." --School Library Journal
Maya Younger and her identical twin sister, Nikki, have always agreed on the important things. Friends. Boys. School. They even plan to attend the same historically African American college. But nothing can always remain the same.
As their Portland neighborhood goes from rough-and-tumble to up-and-coming, Maya feels her connection to Nikki and their community slipping away. Nikki spends more time at trendy coffee shops than backyard barbecues, and their new high school principal is more committed to erasing the neighborhood's ghetto reputation than honoring its history. Home doesn't feel like home anymore. As Maya struggles to hold on to her black heritage, she begins to wonder with whom--or where--she belongs. Does growing up have to mean growing apart?