Black, White, Other by Joan Steinau Steinau Lester
In Search of Nina Armstrong

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Identity Crisis.

As a biracial teen, Nina is accustomed to a life of varied hues—mocha-colored skin, ringed brown hair streaked with red, a darker brother, a black father, a white mother. When her parents decide to divorce, the rainbow of Nina’s existence is reduced to a much starker reality. Shifting definitions and relationships are playing out all around her, and new boxes and lines seem to be getting drawn every day.

Between the fractures within her family and the racial tensions splintering her hometown, Nina feels caught in perpetual battle. Feeling stranded in the nowhere land between racial boundaries, and struggling for personal independence and identity, Nina turns to the story of her great-great-grandmother’s escape from slavery. Is there direction in the tale of her ancestor? Can Nina build her own compass when landmarks from her childhood stop guiding the way?


About Joan Steinau Steinau Lester

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Joan Steinau Lester, Ed.D., is the author of three previous books, the most recent a civil rights biography (FIRE IN MY SOUL) of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. The former Executive Director of the Equity Institute, a national diversity consulting firm, she is a frequent NPR commentator and print columnist. Lester is currently a Bellwether Prize finalist for an adult fiction manuscript; BLACK, WHITE, OTHER is her debut novel for young adults.
Published September 13, 2011 by Zondervan. 225 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Black, White, Other

Kirkus Reviews

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Dad routinely identifies enslaved forbears as “slaves.” For African-Americans, whose mixed ancestry stems from sexual assault by white men on enslaved women and whose racial identity was long defined by the “one drop” rule, claiming white heritage remains fraught and complicated.

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Publishers Weekly

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her little brother, Jimi, lives with his dad, who is busy rediscovering his African-American roots, which include an enslaved great-grandmother Sarah, whose story Silas is writing.

Jul 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Black, White, Other: In Searc...

Portland Book Review

The black girls at school think she’s playing white, and her white mother can’t understand what the big deal is, while her white friends, including Jessica, start to call her “ghetto.” Nina has nowhere to sit at lunch and no one to turn to Nina is captivated by her ancestor, Sara, a runaway slav...

Jan 05 2013 | Read Full Review of Black, White, Other: In Searc...

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