Friday 22 February 2019

Review: Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America Edited by Ibi Zoboi

Whether it’s New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds writing about #blackboyjoy or Newbery Honor-winning author Renee Watson talking about black girls at camp in Portland, or emerging author Jay Coles’s story about two cowboys kissing in the south—Black Enough is an essential collection full of captivating coming-of-age stories about what it’s like to be young and black in America.

Review: I absolutely loved this anthology of short stories and I really do feel like there is something for everyone hear. Each of these stories is so different from the last whilst still sharing that same thread of being young and black in America. You can read one story that might have a character who is black and struggling with grief then another about a character who is black and struggling with their privilege. Then there might be a story focusing on a character who lives in the 'wrong side of town followed by another who is black and struggling to come out to their family, this book really does have something everyone can identify with. 

I had read some of these authors' work before and a lot of the others were new to me, this is the great thing about a short story collection, I now have authors I want to pick up and others I want to explore more deeply. I think out of the whole collection, there were only two stories I really didn't get on with and that's not because they were awful, its just because they didn't click with me. I read this with someone else and we agreed on one of the stories I disliked, but the other they liked. This is yet another reason why short story collections are wonderful, they're short so it's not long before you're reading the next story you really love!

My favourite in this collection was probably Jason Reynolds story or Ibi Zoboi's. I really feel like Jason Reynolds captured something in his story that I have recognised in many young people I have worked with, they are discussing and dreaming about their perfect sandwich and then the ending is not something you;re expecting. Ibi Zoboi deals with a close knit religious community and what it feels like to be outside this community. This has strong links with feminism and also has links with the TV show Friends and so I loved this. The last story does feel a little like the beginnings of another book, however and I desperately want to read more, it has stuck with me long after finishing!

I definitely recommend picking up Black Enough. I really enjoyed reading this collection and I really feel I could identify with several of the characters in the stories. I really do think there is something for everyone here. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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