by Echo Brown
Steeped in magical realism and Matrix references, this first-person narrative tells the story of author Echo Brown's own girlhood in Cleveland. Echo struggles to survive some truly difficult circumstances, like poverty, depression, sexual abuse, and the drug addiction and incarceration of family members. But hidden within all this trauma is Echo's remarkable ability to discover her own power, allowing her to find a path forward through so many devastating obstacles. I really enjoyed her friendship with Elena, a like-minded Iranian, who recognizes that the power of wearing hijab is making people face diversity even when they would prefer not to. The audiobook is approximately 8 hours and read by the author herself, which is especially nice for this autobiographical quasi-memoir work. This is the debut young adult novel of Echo Brown and was a finalist for the 2021 Morris Award. The metaphor of the "black veil" that permeates the story makes this a particularly great choice to read this month in honor of mental health awareness.
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.