See No Color
Drawing on her own experience as a transracial adoptee, first-time novelist Shannon Gibney follows a likable, conflicted heroine as she searches for answers about her families, both real and biological.
Sixteen-year-old Alex "Little" Kirtridge lives and breathes baseball, playing against boys ("pale, skinny Wisconsin kids") and training hours every day to please the team's demanding coach, her father. Her white adoptive family never discusses race, beyond her father's contradictory assertions that they don't see color and that Alex is "only half black." However, half feels like more than enough to Alex--she isn't white, but she feels like an imposter around black people, even Reggie Carter, the handsome pitcher who falls for her. When her 11-year-old sister, Kit, finds a letter to Alex from her black biological father that their parents hid five years ago, Alex must decide whether connecting with him and exploring her identity is worth going against the only parents she has ever known. At the same time, Alex's changing teenaged body begins to slow her down on the diamond, and she starts to wonder if baseball is something she does for herself or for her father.
See No Color is a thought-provoking look into adoption across racial boundaries, deftly combined with timeless coming-of-age themes of independence, self-worth and first love. No matter their background, mature teen readers will find kinship with Alex as she faces the universal struggle to integrate her many parts into a whole self. Gibney knocks it out of the park with a heroine whose courage and humanity will make readers cheer. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services librarian, Latah County Library District (Idaho)