Staff Picks: Such a Fun Age

Reviewed by Sarah K., Materials Handler

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid is also available as an ebook and audiobook.

Civil Discourse

Late one night, Alix Chamberlin, a white woman, calls Emira, her child’s Black babysitter to take her toddler out of the house. While browsing at a nearby high-end grocery store to pass the time, Emira is stopped by security after a customer expressed her concern that the child might have been kidnapped.

As the consequences of that night unfold, Reid masterfully shows how good intentions from white people are not enough. In fact, the actions that come from those intentions too often have the opposite effect. Alix does her best to right the wrongs that occurred that night, but lacks an understanding of Emira’s life and a respect for her choices. Even white characters well-versed in racial issues stumble when they can’t see the ways in which they center themselves.

Since the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of the police, the country is rightfully focused on the racial injustices and oppression that have plagued it for more than four centuries. Reid’s novel provides a platform to engage with issues of race, white saviorism, and privilege--as individuals and as a collective. It is a perfect example of how fiction can offer an entry point into difficult conversations. Such a Fun Age is an engrossing, powerful novel that meets the moment.

This is the first review in the new Finding Value series, inspired by the eleven core values central to the Library's mission. Tune in as Library staff review books and movies that highlight the values accessibility, civil discourse, inclusiveness, integrity, intellectual freedom, lifelong learning, literacy, respect, safety, service, and stewardship. 

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