Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
Maizon takes the biggest step in her life when she accepts a scholarship to boarding school and says good-bye to her grandmother and her best friend, Margaret. Blue Hill is beautiful, and challenging-but there are only five black students, and the other four are from wealthy families. Does Maizon belong at Blue Hill after all?
"Simply told and finely crafted." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
Maizon, 12, wins a scholarship to Blue Hill, an exclusive, girls-only academy in Connecticut. She reluctantly leaves her Brooklyn home for unfamiliar surroundings, apprehensive about being one of only five African American students at the school. She soon meets three older African American enrollees, who boast of their affluent backgrounds and isolate her from the other girls--including Pauli, the offspring of a mixed marriage, whom they detest for ``assimilating.'' Maizon resents such manipulation, and the trio consequently shuns her. Erecting a shield against further hurt, the girl becomes achingly lonely. Maizon senses she's an oddity at the essentially all-white Blue Hill and in her frank and engaging narrative admits to resisting the place, where racial insults are often seen in innocuous remarks--yet in fact only the three African American girls indulge in obviously bigoted comments. This simply told, finely crafted sequel to Last Summer with Maizon neatly avoids predictability while offering a perspective on racism and elitism rarely found in fiction for this age group. Ages 10-14.