Book Review: The Skin I'm In by Sharon G. Flake

Uncertainty.
Feeling ugly. 
Fearing the unknown.
Finding your own path.
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The Skin I'm In by Sharon G Flake against a blue and concrete backdrop.
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Whew. These are just some of the themes in THE SKIN I'M IN that make me so glad to have read this book in my adulthood. It's giving what it's supposed to give -- encouragement, comfort, humor, and hope. Perfect timing considering the goings on of the world at the moment. 

Let's talk about Maleeka, the main character of this book. She's dark skinned and routinely and ruthlessly mocked for it by her peers. Iykyk. Enter Ms. Saunders, a teacher with vitiligo who loves herself fully for who she is. I don't want to give too much away, but I love the force of these two characters meeting each other. It shakes Maleeka's world just enough to bring about a desperately needed change in her life. 
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This book is not very long, but it does not lack DEPTH. Unlike Freedom Writers, Sharon G Flake deftly addresses not only themes of self esteem and societal expectation, but also dives into how damaging a savior complex can be and how difficult it can be to leave an abusive relationship. It's a powerful reminder of how vulnerable our Black girls can be and how important it is we look out for them and each other. 
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The Skin I'm In by Sharon G Flake on bright pink backdrop next to green plants.
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Growing up around predominately white people, I felt ugly like Maleeka did. How I wish I had this book when I was in middle school! It would have made it a lot easier to find peace with who I am and what I look like. That right there is one reason why THE SKIN I'M IN is an absolute classic. With humor, a touch of romance, and a whole lot of drama, this book addresses not only what it's like to come of age, but also find peace with one's self.
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