A powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers - one who presents as white, the other as Black - and the ways they are forced to navigate a world that doesn't treat them equally.
Donte wishes he were invisible. As one of the few black boys at his school, he feels as if he is constantly swimming in whiteness. Most of the students don't look like him. They don't like him either. Dubbed the 'Black Brother', Donte's teachers and classmates make it clear they wish he were more like his lighter skinned brother, Dre.
When an incident with a white student leads to Donte's arrest and suspension, he's sure the only way to get even is to beat the student at the school's most valued game: fencing.
With the help of a former Olympic fencer, Donte embarks on a journey to carve out a spot on the school's fencing team and to find a way to make people at school see past the colour of his skin to who he really is.
From NYT bestselling author Jewell Parker Rhodes, another poignant and gripping story about how children and families face the complexities of race and racism in today's world.
In this novel, Rhodes brings middle graders a story of two biracial brothers, Donte and Trey, navigating racism, colorism, and bullying. Older brother Trey, the lighter-skinned sibling of the boys' black ("Mom thinks Nigerian and Congolese") mother and white (Scotch-Irish and Norwegian) father, is considered the "white brother." Donte, the "black brother," feels like he's "swimming in whiteness" at Middlefield Prep School, where he is regularly bullied because of his skin tone. When Alan, who constantly targets Donte, throws a pencil and Donte is blamed for it then arrested when he expresses frustration Donte's ready to fight back, on Alan's home turf: the fencing mat. Donte finds an African-American former Olympian to coach him, and trains to defeat Alan and earn his respect, all while he deals with his own legal troubles and the civil rights case his mother files. This novel offers a solid story, with relatable, three-dimensional characters considering identity, that will teach readers about colorism's effects. Ages 8 12.