Staff Picks: Blended by Sharon M. Draper

Reviewed by Christina J. 

Sharon Draper does it again - this time offering a heartfelt and moving story about a young bi-racial girl struggling to find her place within her complicated family and in the larger community. Draper’s characters are so complex and sympathetic that they seem like old friends by the end of the book. Fans of Draper’s other work, namely Out of My Mind and Stella by Starlight, will not be disappointed!

Isabella lives life by halves, splitting her time between the homes of her divorced Black father and white mother. While her parents argue bitterly, they shower Isabella with real love. Life at school is not much easier when her best friend, a Black girl from a politically engaged family, is shaken by a hateful object left in her locker. The incident sends a shockwave through the school and community, and forces Isabella to ask important questions about her identity. Throughout her trials, Isabella finds peace and inspiration in her piano playing. Isabella’s journey is filled with love and heartache, hate and hope, division and unity and lots and lots of surprises.