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Books from 2019 that can teach kids about identity

Ibi Zoboi, a National Book Award-finalist, has penned her first book for middle-grade readers, telling the story of Ebony-Grace Norfleet, a twelve-year-old obsessed with Star Trek, and her temporary relocation from Alabama to Harlem. The story is a charming testament to the power of one’s imagination in times of uncertainty, and can especially help preteens going through difficult transitions. In an author’s statement, Zoboi said that Ebony-Grace was born from Zoboi’s desire to write the story of a “quirky black girl” who “finds joy” in her own imagination, explaining that Ebony-Grace was the kind of character that Zoboi had encountered in the real world, but not in a book. 

Disappearing into her imaginative world while reading My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich lets other young people also see the joy that can come from using your creative impulses to understand your own identity.