Mariama J. Lockington

For Black Girls Like Me

Makeda is eleven-years-old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda’s family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena— the only other adopted black girl she knows— for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one true friend. Through it all, Makeda can’t help wondering: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me?

Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda carves a small place for herself in the world.

FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is an #ownvoices novel, based on some of the author’s emotional experiences growing up adopted in a white family. It is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do I figure out where I am going if I don’t know where I came from?

Mariama J. Lockington

Mariama J. Lockington is an author, nonprofit educator, and transracial adoptee who calls many places home. Her debut middle grade novel FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is out now from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers. FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and has earned five starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Shelf Awareness, BookPageSchool Library Journal, and Booklist. Mariama is also the author of the poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter (Damaged Goods Press, 2017).

Mariama has edited and contributed to many youth-centered book projects including: Be Honest and Other Advice from Students Across the Country (2011, The New Press), Growing Our Hearts and Brains: Poems on love, technology, and success (2014, 826NYC), Chicken Makes the Ice Cream Taste Better: Stories on Food and Community, (2015, 826NYC), and her co-authored lesson plan “The Science of Superpowers” is included in STEM to Story: Enthralling and Effective Lesson Plans for grades 5th-8th (2015, Jossey-Bass). She is a Bread Loaf Scholar, Voices of Our Nation Arts Alumni, a Literary Death Match Champion, and she earned her Masters in Education from Lesley University and her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Mariama lives in Kentucky with her partner and her dapple-haired dachshund, Henry. When she is not writing or teaching, you’ll find Mariama singing karaoke, cooking new recipes, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or re-reading her favorite book, Sula by Toni Morrison.

Website: http://www.mariamajlockington.com

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