Genesis Begins Again
Author: Alicia D. Williams
2020 Newbery Honor Book
2020 John Steptoe New Talent Award Winner
2020 William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist
There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant — even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When your dad is a gambling addict and loses the rent money every month, eviction is a regular occurrence.
Whats not so regular is that this time they all don't have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. Its not that Genesis doesn't like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight — Grandma haranguing Mom to leave Dad, that she should have gone back to school, that if shed married a lighter skinned man none of this would be happening, and on and on and on. But things aren't all bad. Genesis actually likes her new school; shes made a couple friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and even encourages Genesis to join the talent show.
But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? Why, why, why wont the lemon or yogurt or fancy creams lighten her skin like they're supposed to? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again? Ages 10 and up. 364pp