Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she's ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And she has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for "at-risk" girls. Except really, it's for black girls. From "bad" neighborhoods. And just because Maxine, her college-graduate mentor, is black doesn't mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.
"A thoughtful testament to the value of growth and of work, of speaking up and of listening, that will resonate with many readers engaged in 'discovering what we are really capable of.'" - starred review, BCCB
"Jade's narrative voice offers compelling reflections on the complexities of race and gender, class and privilege, and fear and courage, while conveying the conflicted emotions of an ambitious, loyal girl. Teeming with compassion and insight, Watson's story trumpets the power of artistic expression to re-envision and change the world." - starred review, Publishers Weekly
"Through Jade's insightful and fresh narration, Watson presents a powerful story that challenges stereotypes about girls with 'coal skin and hula-hoop hips' who must contend with the realities of racial profiling and police brutality. . . . A timely, nuanced, and unforgettable story about the power of art, community, and friendship." - starred review, Kirkus Reviews
"This unique and thought-provoking title offers a nuanced meditation on race, privilege, and intersectionality." - starred review, School Library Journal
"Watson's story explores a number of important ideas: the challenges and rewards of interracial friendships, the realities of racial stereotyping, and the expression of ideas and emotions through art . . . Jade's is an important voice." - VOYA
"A balancing act between class, race, and social dynamics, with Watson constantly undercutting stereotypes and showing no fear in portraying virtues along with vices. The book's defiance of a single-issue lens will surely inspire discussion and consideration." - Booklist
"Questions of race, self-acceptance, and self-worth are the focus of this book and will give young women a chance to realize that they are worthwhile just being themselves. . . . all students . . . would benefit from reading this book." - School Library Connection
"Watson's elegantly crafted novel speaks to the myriad of people who find themselves searching for themselves in the world. Timely and timeless, Piecing Me Together is a book about the ways young people deal with the hardships and heartbreak of everyday living while remaining whole and true to themselves. There is a little bit of Jade in all of us. As she and the rest of Watson's characters jumped off the page and into my heart, I found myself again and again, remembering this." - Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming
"A nuanced story about girls navigating the landmines of others' good intentions, Piecing Me Together will make readers wrestle with every assumption they have about race, economic class, and so-called at-risk kids. An honest look at how girls stitch together their talents to find their voice and power. Renee Watson is a top-rate storyteller about what impacts young women today." - Meg Medina, award-winning author of Burn Baby Burn
"Watson, with rhythm and style, somehow gets at the toxicity of sympathy, the unquenchable thirst of fear, and the life-changing power of voice and opportunity, all wrapped up in Jade--the coolest young lady in the world. Or at least, in Portland, Oregon. Simply, Piecing Me Together is a book you'll want to hug!" - Jason Reynolds, award-winning coauthor of ALL AMERICAN BOYS
Renée Watson grew up in Portland Oregon (where this story is set), came to New York for her degree in writing, and now teaches poetry in the New York City Schools. This is her first book.
Drink specials are available from Raconteur during author readings!