The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond
By Brenda Woods
Nancy Paulsen Books, Hardcover, 9780399257148, 222pp.
Publication Date: January 9, 2014
List Price: $16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Violet is a smart, funny, brown-eyed, brown-haired girl in a family of blonds. Her mom is white, and her dad, who died before she was born, was black. She attends a mostly white school where she sometimes feels like a brown leaf on a pile of snow. She's tired of people asking if she's adopted. Now that Violet's eleven, she decides it's time to learn about her African American heritage. And despite getting off to a rocky start trying to reclaim her dad's side of the family, she can feel her confidence growing as the puzzle pieces of her life finally start coming together. Readers will cheer for Violet, sharing her joy as she discovers her roots.
* “Violet’s a bright, engaging biracial preteen. . . . Infused with humor, hope and cleareyed compassion—a fresh take on an old paradigm.”
-Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“Violet’s charming quirks, which include nighttime wishing rituals and keeping a mental catalogue of sophisticated vocabulary words, prove endearing. . . . Admirably touches upon profound issues related to identity and race and tenderly conveys intergenerational bonds.”
-School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“Violet is a winning protagonist, full of questions and full of hope. She’s believably complex. . . . Her self-conscious reflections enable readers to parse the symbolism behind her name and see how her experiences are helping her grow into a person who fits it—a sometimes shy, sometimes sparkly and strong person to whom many readers will relate.”
-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Woods deftly raises complex issues of race and identity and leaves them open for discussion: whether race matters, what makes a family, how it feels to be different, and what it means to be biracial. ‘To white people,’ Violet thinks, ‘I’m half black. To black people, I’m half white. . . . Is that what I am, a percentage?’"