Piecing Me Together – Using Collage To Figure Yourself Out

Piecing Me Together

Book Summary

“Piecing Me Together by acclaimed author Renee Watson offers a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it’s trying to break her.

Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. And Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities.

But some opportunities she doesn’t really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Just because her mentor is black and graduated from the same high school doesn’t mean she understands where Jade is coming from. She’s tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope. Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.”

– Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson (Amazon Preview)

Piecing Me Together Review

Initial Thoughts

This is another book I found through my Children’s Literature in Diversity class. It was also one of my very favorites in the class. Piecing Me Together touches on so many important topics under the racism umbrella. Because of that, I think this is a must read book for nearly anyone. This book gave me such a good perspective on hardships that I won’t ever have to face. I try my best to stay informed on things happening outside my own bubble. However, Watson really does a wonderful job of putting you in Jade’s place no matter where you come from.

Overall, I really loved this book. I think it’s a great read for anyone who has ever faced discrimination. I think more importantly though, it’s a must read if you’ve never faced discrimination. It really changes your perception even if you’re aware of the racial disparities in the world.

Piecing Me Together Itself

As a fellow crafter, I really enjoyed the connections this book makes to collaging and figuring yourself out. This book is just layered (no pun intended) in metaphors. The way that Watson connects discovering who you are to the art of collaging is the most perfect comparison. And even though this book touches on some pretty heavy race themes, the focus on being who you are is definitely the most prominent.

Okay, so in my honest opinion, I had a hard time connecting to Jade in the beginning. She was really frustrating as a character for me at first. I had to remember what I was like as a teenage girl to really see her perspective on certain things. I had to remember that I wasn’t always rational, and I didn’t always handle things in the most logical ways. After I got over that, I eventually really ended up connecting with Jade as a character.

Another character in the book I want to touch on is Maxine. For most of the book while she’s in it, I had a really hard time with Maxine as a character. Her character is supposed to be someone who is my age, but she never really seemed like a grown up until the end. Watson does a great job at portraying her as someone who is technically a grown up, but hasn’t quite figured out who they are either. And because of this, doesn’t always make the decisions you think they should.

The setting for this story is pretty standard I would say. It takes place mostly in Jade’s private school, but also at her home in the slums. But what the author does really well is she contrasts Jade’s home with the really nice places that Maxine takes her to visit. She does a great job of not just telling, but showing, the reader how uncomfortable and out of place Jade feels at these places. The author does a great job overall of sucking you into the book and setting the scene for you.

Other Reviews of This Book to Check Out

The BlackLit Queen

Raising Real Readers

If You Like That, You’ll Like This

There are tons of other books that touch on the topics discussed in this book. Some of the most notable are The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The Stars Beneath Out Feet by David Barclay Moore.

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