LaToya Williams lives in Montgomery, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. It seems as if her only friend is her older brother, Alex. Toya doesn't know where she fits in, but after a run-in with another student, she wonders if life would be different if she were...different. And then a higher power answers her prayer: to be "anything but black".
Toya is suddenly white, blond, and popular. Now what?
Randi Pink's audacious fiction debut dares to explore a subject that will spark conversations about race, class, and gender.
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Walking in someone else's (white) shoes...
If they were interested in YA fiction, books concerning racism and related issues, body swap stories, then yes.
A great idea.
Depends on their interests - it's not a topic that everyone will be interested in, not a 'universal' book that I'd say everybody SHOULD read.
I liked the scenes with Jesus speaking to Toya especially, they stood out for their humour.
Possibly. You'd need two actresses for Toya and her white alter-ego, possibly some unknown actresses would be best, and hopefully under the (usual!) teen-movie age of 25!
You never really understand a person until you climb into his skin and walk around in it
This is no Mockingbird (though set like it, in Alabama), LaToya no Atticus Finch, but in this Freaky Friday-esque high-school tale, a black student angry and frustrated with her lot in life prays to God to give her white skin. And she gets to climb into white skin and see both 'sides'.
Bullied and treated as a second class citizen because of her skin colour, Toya does have much to complain of legitimately, though she doesn't come across as a mature adolescent. We have to set aside the 'God did it' of her skin colour change, and that her family are the only ones who cannot see her new hue, and accept the story.
The usual ensues - different treatment in her new guise, Toya feeling elation, and later realisation that all is not sunshine, roses and greener on the other side of the fence.
There is an unusual aspect to the school swap story - a close-call rape scene and scenario, with Toya (in her 'white girl' persona) lied about and subject to name-calling. The scene itself does not become graphic but the meaning of it is clear.
Toya's brother and friend are minor characters in her story but I found myself intrigued by them more than the protagonist, they have interesting plot arcs and developments. One thing I enjoyed - Jesus showing up for little chats with Toya, very irreverent and funny, though completely off-the-wall.
An unusual idea, with a lot of potential, but I don't think it lived up to this.
*SPOILER ALERT* Toya, near the end of the story, reports the near-rape to the authorities, giving her name as the victim. This made no sense to me, because the perpetrator and all witnesses would be adamant that a white girl was the one in the bedroom with him, she had a different name and that 'girl' no longer exists - so how exactly would this case proceed? It couldn't go anywhere.
*END OF SPOILER ALERT*
Suitable for teen readers aged 13 and above, raises some fascinating issues worthy of discussion.
I accessed the text via the Audible audiobook. The narrator portrayed the resentful teenage voice of Toya well, and the story was easy to follow in this format
- K. J. Noyes