What Lane?

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"STAY IN YOUR LANE." Stephen doesn't want to hear that--he wants to have no lane.

Anything his friends can do, Stephen should be able to do too, right? So when they dare each other to sneak into an abandoned building, he doesn't think it's his lane, but he goes. Here's the thing, though: Can he do everything his friends can? Lately, he's not so sure. As a mixed kid, he feels like he's living in two worlds with different rules--and he's been noticing that strangers treat him differently than his white friends . . .

So what'll he do? Hold on tight as Stephen swerves in and out of lanes to find out which are his--and who should be with him.

Torrey Maldonado, author of the highly acclaimed Tight, does a masterful job showing a young boy coming of age in a racially split world, trying to blaze a way to be his best self.---from the publisher

144 pages                      978-0525518433                   Ages 10 and up

Keywords:  being yourself, justice, freedom, African American, African American author, friends, friendship, getting along, social issues, social conditions, social commentary, discrimination, prejudice, racism, diversity, diverse books, Black Lives Matter, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, acceptance, accepting others, respecting others, understanding others

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Sixth grader Stephen is beginning to see that he is treated differently by different people simply because of the color of his skin. His parents are tiptoeing around the whole subject of Black Lives Matter because they want him to hold onto his innocence as long as he can.

But Stephen's friends and enemies are starting to show their true colors and that innocence of his is fading fast. Stephen sees the police single him out as trouble when he's the only black guy in the group. Stephen catches on when his friend Dan's cousin shows up and starts challenging Stephen to do things Stephen's inner alarm bells are warning him against.

The lanes are starting to appear before him. He has friends who do see the racism and the discrimination. He has friends who don't want to see or believe the racism and discrimination are really happening. He sees the adults who look at him through filters of mistrust. He sees the kids whose own insecurities make him a target for all of their own pain and fear and anger.

Torrey Maldonado gives us all a chance to walk in Stephen's shoes and to see the world and the people around him through Stephen's eyes. It's a privilege to take this walk. It's a privilege to step back and ask yourself, what lane am I in? Why? What lane would I want to be in?

Black Lives Matter.

144 pages 978-0525518433 Ages 10 and up

Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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