When You Look Like Us

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Author: Pamela N. Harris

A timely, gripping YA debut perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Tiffany D. Jackson, about a boy who must take up the search for his sister when she goes missing from a neighborhood where black girls’ disappearances are too often overlooked.

When you look like us—brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades—people think you’re trouble. No one looks twice at a missing black girl from public housing because she must’ve brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister, Nicole, got too caught up with her boyfriend—a drug dealer—and his friends. But she’s been gone too long now.

If I hadn’t hung up on her that night, she’d be spending time with our grandma. If I was a better brother, she’d be finishing senior year instead of being another name on a missing persons list. It’s time to step up and do what the Newport News police department won’t.

Nic, I’m bringing you home.