Black, White, Other: In Search of Nina Armstrong

Friday, November 9, 2012
People will treat you the way you expect to be treated.
“That’s not true! It’s all about race at school! You have to be one or the other. You don’t understand at all.” My voice is tight with trying to hold back sobs. How could my whole world have erupted from one day to the next?

Book: Black, White, Other: In Search of Nina Armstrong by Joan Steinau Lester, Zondervan Publishers, 2011

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 13-18
Subjects: Racism, Family Relationships, Friendships, Crime
Summary: Being mixed has always been beautiful. A white mom and a black dad make for a beautiful family. That’s what Nina thought. Until the divorce. Until her dad found someone else. Until the kids at school started treating her funny. Until the crime on tv becomes a racial issue. Until her whole world gets torn apart. How can she ever find a place to fit in when she’s not black and she’s not white? And why does race have to matter so much?
Notes: This is a sort of coming of age story. Nina’s world of innocence leaves and in it’s place comes a world of crime, broken families and racism. Her mom waves it away, says people will treat her the way she expects to be treated. Her brother is now committing crimes because of things her dad has said. And her dad? He gives her a book to read – a book he is writing about a family member who escaped slavery. Nina feels as though no one understands her or will listen to her and attempts to find a place where someone will. But the answer isn’t a relationship with God, with One who loves her unconditionally. It winds up being more of a resignation. She concludes her life isn’t as bad as it feels and just hopes that someday things will get better and just makes the best of it. So really, she finds no answers, just concludes there doesn’t need to be any. She does make a friend by the end of the story and does hope that maybe her dad understands her a little but that’s it. There really isn’t much spiritual content at all, just a few references to God or prayer as if it’s not really a big deal, not a central part of anyone’s life, nothing that holds any real power. I did not see anything in this book that would help someone grow spiritually.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 1/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Romans 10:12 –For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,


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