by Brandy Colbert
Alberta has been the only Black girl in her small town for years, so when Edie, another Black girl, and her family move in across the street, Alberta is excited to finally have a friend who will understand that important piece of her identity. But while Alberta loves the beach, surfing, and living in her small town, Edie prefers to drink coffee and read Edgar Allan Poe, and misses living in Brooklyn. Their relationship has a bumpy start as they seem to have more differences than similarities. But when they find a box of old journals in Edie's attic, the girls commit themselves to solving the mystery of where they came from. As they follow the trail of information through the journals and bond over shared aspects of their lives, Alberta and Edie start to uncover a poignant and painful history of racism and identity. Over the course of the story, the girls navigate changing relationships and self-perception, and learn to be more flexible with both new and old friendships, allowing them to change and grow as they learn more about each other and themselves. Alberta and Edie demonstrate through their complex and relatable characterization that Blackness is not a monolith, and that what you can see on the surface is never the whole story.
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.