Calling My Name

320p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062656865.
Gr 9 Up—This lush debut novel is written in distinct prose that reads like poetry. The coming-of-age tale follows the journey of Taja Brown. Readers are introduced to Taja when she is 11 years old, and continue follow her story through the end of high school. She struggles to maintain her relationship with God in her close-knit and religious community in Houston, Texas while still exploring sex without shame. Each chapter is a short vignette, giving teens a peek into the girl's progression into adolescence. Tamani's writing taps all of the senses; readers will taste and smell Taja's stifling world. Taja is a quirky character filled with wonder and subtle subversion, surrounded by an ensemble of characters and a setting that is oppressively narrow. Young adults will connect with this protagonist and this dynamic new voice. Fans of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas will especially love this lyrical novel.
VERDICT A tender story that will make a great selection in any library collection.

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