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See No Color (Fiction - Young Adult)

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For as long as she can remember, sixteen-year-old Alex Kirtridge has known two things: 1. She has always been Little Kirtridge, a stellar baseball player, just like her father. 2. She's adopted. These facts have always been part of Alex's life. Despite some teasing, being a biracial girl in a white family didn't make much of a difference as long as she was a star on the di For as long as she can remember, sixteen-year-old Alex Kirtridge has known two things: 1. She has always been Little Kirtridge, a stellar baseball player, just like her father. 2. She's adopted. These facts have always been part of Alex's life. Despite some teasing, being a biracial girl in a white family didn't make much of a difference as long as she was a star on the diamond where her father—her baseball coach and a former pro player—counted on her. But now, things are changing: she meets Reggie, the first black guy who's wanted to get to know her; she discovers the letters from her biological father that her adoptive parents have kept from her; and her body starts to grow into a woman's, affecting her game. Alex begins to question who she really is. She's always dreamed of playing pro baseball just like her father, but can she really do it? Does she truly fit in with her white family? Who were her biological parents? What does it mean to be black? If she's going to find answers, Alex has to come to terms with her adoption, her race, and the dreams she thought would always guide her.


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For as long as she can remember, sixteen-year-old Alex Kirtridge has known two things: 1. She has always been Little Kirtridge, a stellar baseball player, just like her father. 2. She's adopted. These facts have always been part of Alex's life. Despite some teasing, being a biracial girl in a white family didn't make much of a difference as long as she was a star on the di For as long as she can remember, sixteen-year-old Alex Kirtridge has known two things: 1. She has always been Little Kirtridge, a stellar baseball player, just like her father. 2. She's adopted. These facts have always been part of Alex's life. Despite some teasing, being a biracial girl in a white family didn't make much of a difference as long as she was a star on the diamond where her father—her baseball coach and a former pro player—counted on her. But now, things are changing: she meets Reggie, the first black guy who's wanted to get to know her; she discovers the letters from her biological father that her adoptive parents have kept from her; and her body starts to grow into a woman's, affecting her game. Alex begins to question who she really is. She's always dreamed of playing pro baseball just like her father, but can she really do it? Does she truly fit in with her white family? Who were her biological parents? What does it mean to be black? If she's going to find answers, Alex has to come to terms with her adoption, her race, and the dreams she thought would always guide her.

30 review for See No Color (Fiction - Young Adult)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    A really fascinating and necessary slice-of-life novel about Alex, a biracial girl, who is adopted by white parents. Set in Madison, WI, it had me from the start, but it kept me with Alex's voice. This is a story about baseball, about family, about "not seeing color," about blackness, and it even has a little romance -- one that's realistic and not at all the driving force behind the novel. This is a shorter read and one that I can see so many teen readers picking up and seeing themselves in. Th A really fascinating and necessary slice-of-life novel about Alex, a biracial girl, who is adopted by white parents. Set in Madison, WI, it had me from the start, but it kept me with Alex's voice. This is a story about baseball, about family, about "not seeing color," about blackness, and it even has a little romance -- one that's realistic and not at all the driving force behind the novel. This is a shorter read and one that I can see so many teen readers picking up and seeing themselves in. The discussions of biracial identity are interesting, as is the look into transracial adoption. But what struck me throughout was Alex's quest to choose her future and her life for herself and no one else. She makes the calls on what she does, where her passions lie, and how she chooses to identify. Pair this with Renee Watson's THIS SIDE OF HOME.

  2. 5 out of 5

    alissa avaline

    This book may be short, but it message is important! Review coming soon!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Dahlen

    See No Color provides a close look into one transracially adopted Black teen’s life around the time she begins to think more reflectively about her blackness and adoptee-ness. While many would like to believe that adoption is a universally wonderful way to build a family, author Shannon Gibney makes plain through her protagonist Alex that being both black and adopted is complicated, especially in a world where competing voices and interests try to control representations of adoption in the media See No Color provides a close look into one transracially adopted Black teen’s life around the time she begins to think more reflectively about her blackness and adoptee-ness. While many would like to believe that adoption is a universally wonderful way to build a family, author Shannon Gibney makes plain through her protagonist Alex that being both black and adopted is complicated, especially in a world where competing voices and interests try to control representations of adoption in the media and adoption discourse itself. Gibney does not sugarcoat any of hardships that transracially adopted teens may face: she lays out the microaggressive and racist comments that family members say to Alex; explains why Black children are considered “special needs” and therefore are cheaper to adopt; and has Alex honestly and unapologetically describe both the shame and sense of wonderment she feels when she starts spending time with more Black people. As the story unfolds, Alex comes to a better understanding of who she is as a black teenager in a white family and white world, but the journey is not easy, nor is it over by the book’s end. Because this novel grapples with many of the complexities, nuances, and realities that transracially adopted Black persons face on a sometimes daily basis, and also considering that few young adult adoption narratives are written by adopted persons who can share from their own experiences, See No Color is a necessary read for any young person.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a very solid novel, and while there are a few rough spots where the voice seems "off" (not really like that of a teen), and the ending is really abrupt, it's a really fantastic look at identity with an nice peppering of family and baseball.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Libriar

    Quite disappointed in this book...needed to keep reminding myself of Adichie's TED talk "Danger of a Single Story." My sister is a transracial adoptee raised in Madison. To say that Alex's parents were pretty clueless is an understatement. The pretty much complete absence of her mom in the story especially bothered me. And that her younger sister knew more about her adoption than she did just didn't make sense to me. And having been raised in Madison, it's almost impossible to make the trip to D Quite disappointed in this book...needed to keep reminding myself of Adichie's TED talk "Danger of a Single Story." My sister is a transracial adoptee raised in Madison. To say that Alex's parents were pretty clueless is an understatement. The pretty much complete absence of her mom in the story especially bothered me. And that her younger sister knew more about her adoption than she did just didn't make sense to me. And having been raised in Madison, it's almost impossible to make the trip to Detroit in a weekend without your family knowing. Just getting stuck in Chicago traffic would take up hours. Other more minor things that could have been helped with better editing: there are no Kroger's in Wisconsin; a high school baseball coach wouldn't drink alcohol with his players present; the University of Wisconsin doesn't have a baseball team; the likelihood of two Clemson baseball players ending up both coaching high school baseball in Madison is slim-to-none. What I did like: the parts about her hair and her interest in baseball.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Peach

    It's been a while since I've read a book with such an impact. Alex is a transracial adoptee. For the most part, her life is unflawed. She enjoys playing baseball with her father, fawning over the occasional boy. It isn't until neighbors and family friends start whispering that she's African-American - though only half - while the rest of her family is white, arising fear and anxiety out of Alex. She doesn't feel welcome in her own skin or family, and she has no one to turn to. I wasn't too appreci It's been a while since I've read a book with such an impact. Alex is a transracial adoptee. For the most part, her life is unflawed. She enjoys playing baseball with her father, fawning over the occasional boy. It isn't until neighbors and family friends start whispering that she's African-American - though only half - while the rest of her family is white, arising fear and anxiety out of Alex. She doesn't feel welcome in her own skin or family, and she has no one to turn to. I wasn't too appreciative of Alex's family. If you've ever seen Hey Arnold ('90s kids, holla), she pretty much has Helga's parents. A big, bulky dad who pushes her into sports and a skinny, frail, whiny mother. Shortly after she was adopted, her mother became pregnant with her siblings, Kit and Jason, and became World Whiner #1. As Alex faced bullying over her race, her family never stepped in and a blind eye was often turned upon the situation. Alex meets a teenager she can relate to, Reggie. He's cute. They have occasional banter and he's smooth-talks his way to her heart. Their relationship was pretty instalove-y. But if I were to disregard that, I enjoyed their connection. We also gain an extensive knowledge of baseball. It wasn't just: "She swung the bat and ran to first base" either. As someone who doesn't know a lick about the sport, it was enlightening. If I can complain about anything, it would have to be the ending. Plus, the book was extremely short. I have a stream of questions. (view spoiler)[ Does Alex tell her parents the truth? Does she get back with Reggie? Does she learn to accept herself? Does her sister stop acting like an entitled couch cushion? (hide spoiler)] This was pure gold. A revelation. I hope everyone gets the chance to read this. Without a doubt, I recommend. I just would've preferred, at least, fifty more pages.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This book is perfect. I almost don't think I need to go beyond giving it 5 stars. Adequate words fail me in the face of such talent and skill in storytelling. The pacing is excellent, the structure classic without feeling forced - the steady build up of tension to a crescendo (emotional meltdown) followed by resolution and empowerment. The author depicts a very realistic, age-appropriate developmental crisis, aka "coming of age" story, of a transracial adoptee. It's a modern journey of discovery This book is perfect. I almost don't think I need to go beyond giving it 5 stars. Adequate words fail me in the face of such talent and skill in storytelling. The pacing is excellent, the structure classic without feeling forced - the steady build up of tension to a crescendo (emotional meltdown) followed by resolution and empowerment. The author depicts a very realistic, age-appropriate developmental crisis, aka "coming of age" story, of a transracial adoptee. It's a modern journey of discovery rarely told thus far by adoptees in contemporary fiction and there is not a wasted word or scene, completely natural dialogue and relationships and reactions between characters. It's just flawless. I don't feel like there is a lot more I can say without doing what the parents did in this book, which was to explain Alex to herself way too often. I hope I have read it as an anti-manual for adoptive parenting but I may never succeed in rising above the temptation of control, false as the illusion may be. And every kid, no matter what deck they've been handed, eventually has to find their own way in spite of their parents' best intentions. Inspirational quote, universal for anyone who feels freakish in a world that dictates a narrow set of norms, (not a spoiler but it is well into the journey): Alex has discovered the world of online adoptee blogs and forums, " . . I reflected on the fact that I might not be as much of a freak as I always thought I was. Maybe I just belonged to an outlaw tribe. One you wouldn't even know was there unless you knew how to go looking for it. And maybe those of us in the tribe weren't responsible at all for what had happened to us, all the things that had made us who we were. Maybe we actually had nothing to apologize for. To anyone."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    To Alex, the parents who adopted her are the most amazing people in the world and she bonds over baseball with her father. But when the topic of whether she identifies as black or white comes up, she isn't sure what to decide. See No Color is a modern yet timeless new book that proves a person should be judged based on their actions, not the colour of their skin. Alex is a character who any kid can relate to, growing up in a time when prejudice is still out there but when it can also be question To Alex, the parents who adopted her are the most amazing people in the world and she bonds over baseball with her father. But when the topic of whether she identifies as black or white comes up, she isn't sure what to decide. See No Color is a modern yet timeless new book that proves a person should be judged based on their actions, not the colour of their skin. Alex is a character who any kid can relate to, growing up in a time when prejudice is still out there but when it can also be questioned and stopped. I loved her personality, she was a well-written character and it was cool to see a book with a female character into baseball for once. Usually books feature male characters when it comes to sports. If you're looking for books with similar themes, I also recommend reading Shaky Man, which also features two characters who love baseball but face prejudge in their small town Texas community.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hannah

    !!!!!!!!!!!! This book is so important and I have so many things to say later when I get them all down. like all of these thoughts, i guess: http://mclicious.org/2015/09/22/white... !!!!!!!!!!!! This book is so important and I have so many things to say later when I get them all down. like all of these thoughts, i guess: http://mclicious.org/2015/09/22/white...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    I admire an author who can craft a novel of less than 200 pages which I can read in a single evening and which enlightens me. I am male. I was not adopted. Being German and Scottish does not qualify as being "mixed." I came of age in a very homogeneous locale. So, Shannon Gibney gave me some things to think about by sharing Alex's story of being a transracial adoptee. It felt authentic and given Gibney's background, I have no reason to think it isn't a fair representation of the issues. And then I admire an author who can craft a novel of less than 200 pages which I can read in a single evening and which enlightens me. I am male. I was not adopted. Being German and Scottish does not qualify as being "mixed." I came of age in a very homogeneous locale. So, Shannon Gibney gave me some things to think about by sharing Alex's story of being a transracial adoptee. It felt authentic and given Gibney's background, I have no reason to think it isn't a fair representation of the issues. And then there are the bonuses: baseball (the sport I grew up with), Hank Aaron (my childhood, and beyond, sports hero), and Eau Claire (my hometown).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kaia

    Close to four stars. The parts of the story dealing with transracial adoption, Alex's struggle with identity, and her relationship with her adoptive family and birth family were very well done. As the book was coming to a close and I realized (view spoiler)[that her adoptive family was not going to realize the ways their actions and attitudes were hurting Alex nor make any changes (hide spoiler)] , I was a bit disappointed. In retrospect, though, I appreciated Gibney's choice. (view spoiler)[This Close to four stars. The parts of the story dealing with transracial adoption, Alex's struggle with identity, and her relationship with her adoptive family and birth family were very well done. As the book was coming to a close and I realized (view spoiler)[that her adoptive family was not going to realize the ways their actions and attitudes were hurting Alex nor make any changes (hide spoiler)] , I was a bit disappointed. In retrospect, though, I appreciated Gibney's choice. (view spoiler)[This was Alex's story and growth, not her parents. And while I wanted them to get to a place where they could at least have conversations about race and adoption without resorting to a colorblind pov, I think it would have distracted from Alex's story. And perhaps a neat little ending with all the strings tied up wouldn't be true to the experience of many transracial adoptees. (hide spoiler)] There was a small issue that really bothered me throughout the book, which I've tried not to affect my rating. That issue is Kit. I have a high tolerance for precocious children in books, but Kit was a completely unbelievable 11 year old. She talked and reasoned like she was in her twenties. Overall, this was a good book, and one I'd love to get into the hands of teen readers.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    This was a pretty powerful book. The pacing felt like an intense freight train chugging along and it really capitalized on the helplessness that Alex feels in coming to grips with her identity. The book definitely focuses on Alex's struggle as a biracial teen adopted by white parents. However there are a lot of issues touched on including sexism, gender roles, family dynamics and finding your voice and identity. I actually really liked the detailed sections during the games. I am a baseball fan, This was a pretty powerful book. The pacing felt like an intense freight train chugging along and it really capitalized on the helplessness that Alex feels in coming to grips with her identity. The book definitely focuses on Alex's struggle as a biracial teen adopted by white parents. However there are a lot of issues touched on including sexism, gender roles, family dynamics and finding your voice and identity. I actually really liked the detailed sections during the games. I am a baseball fan, so maybe that's why I loved this more than other readers and it added a lot of credibility to the characters of Alex and her father. Well done.

  13. 5 out of 5

    C.E. G

    A quick but meaningful YA debut about Alex, a baseball player and transracial adoptee in Wisconsin. Even though it's got some sports in it (ugh), the sport didn't overwhelm the story and I whipped through it. The only other YA book I've read about transracial adoption was Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher, but I don't remember thinking that one would be as life-changing for teens as I think this one will be. See No Color reminded me of a lot of "coming out" novels that I've read, in that it was occas A quick but meaningful YA debut about Alex, a baseball player and transracial adoptee in Wisconsin. Even though it's got some sports in it (ugh), the sport didn't overwhelm the story and I whipped through it. The only other YA book I've read about transracial adoption was Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher, but I don't remember thinking that one would be as life-changing for teens as I think this one will be. See No Color reminded me of a lot of "coming out" novels that I've read, in that it was occasionally didactic, but in a way that feels nourishing to me. I also want white adults who are considering adopting a child of another race to read this. The fictionalized parents in this book say some awful but all-too-common things to their black daughter. It wasn't a perfect book (the younger sister irritated me to no end), but it's a must-have for all public libraries.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I appreciate that she talked about the different intersections of race, culture, class, and even religion. Chapter seven was amazing but it didn't stop there. It built up and continued to dig deep at those intersections. No Hollywood endings here and I thank the author for that.

  15. 4 out of 5

    ElphaReads

    3.5 Stars One of the most eye opening books I read last year was A GOOD TIME FOR THE TRUTH, a collection of essays about growing up as a Person of Color in Minnesota. One of the most striking essays to me was the one that Shannon Gibney wrote, about experiencing a racist encounter at a grocery store when she was there with her family, and how African American children are more likely to be treated as suspicious or as criminals than white children. I didn't realize that she also writes fiction, un 3.5 Stars One of the most eye opening books I read last year was A GOOD TIME FOR THE TRUTH, a collection of essays about growing up as a Person of Color in Minnesota. One of the most striking essays to me was the one that Shannon Gibney wrote, about experiencing a racist encounter at a grocery store when she was there with her family, and how African American children are more likely to be treated as suspicious or as criminals than white children. I didn't realize that she also writes fiction, until I picked up her novel SEE NO COLOR. Gibney is insightful and very honest in her writing, and so reading her YA debut was something I was looking forward to. Alex is a transracial adoptee living in Madison, Wisconsin. Her parents are white, her younger siblings are white, and she is biracial. Her parents have tried to raise her under the idea of colorblindness, that race doesn't matter and that Alex is just like them. Alex is a huge baseball fan, and is gearing up for an important season. But then she discovers that her biological father has been trying to contact her. Suddenly, Alex starts to feel and see all the ways that she is treated differently from her family, even by her family. As she starts to try and figure out her own identity, she starts to question exactly who she is and where she belongs. First thing is first and I want to state it right away and emphatically. The message of this book is one that I can one hundred percent get behind. I think that the misguided myth of being 'colorblind' is something that just exacerbates issues of race. I also think that Alex's experience felt very real and very relevant, from the microaggressions that she has to live with each day from everyone around her, to the racism that is planted within some aspects of adoption agencies (children of color having a lower adoption fee, or being listed as 'special needs', for examples). I love that this story is being told, as I think it's an important one that makes the reader face and acknowledge that these kinds of situations are far more complex than many people would like to acknowledge. That said, some of the literary aspects of this book felt a bit clunky. I had the hardest time with Alex's sister Kit, who is supposed to be eleven but sounds far older in her words and actions. She was kind of there to be the impetus for Alex to start asking these questions, but man was her precociousness distracting and unrealistic. That really took me out of those parts. There is also a decision that Alex makes in the novel that seemed incongruent with previous known facts, (view spoiler)[specifically that she decides at the end to give up baseball. Had it been presented as a past time she pursued to try and relate to her father, or to fit in with him and his values, I could have believed it. But up until she quit, it seemed that she really and legitimately had a serious love and passion for it. So her quitting didn't seem to really fit, to me. (hide spoiler)] Overall, I think that this is definitely a book that teens should read. The message itself is an important one, and the story is one that should be reflected more within literature narratives.

  16. 5 out of 5

    John Klein-Collins

    This was an interesting story with a great deal of potential that suffered from too many variables. Alex, a Black girl, is the adopted daughter of a white family. Her father, a former professional baseball player, eats, breathes, and lives baseball. Alex and her brother, Jason, are coached by their father, making for a sometimes awkward and tense father-child relationship. During their run to the Wisconsin high school station championship, Alex learns about years of letters from her biological f This was an interesting story with a great deal of potential that suffered from too many variables. Alex, a Black girl, is the adopted daughter of a white family. Her father, a former professional baseball player, eats, breathes, and lives baseball. Alex and her brother, Jason, are coached by their father, making for a sometimes awkward and tense father-child relationship. During their run to the Wisconsin high school station championship, Alex learns about years of letters from her biological father that have been kept from her, she struggles to find her place in the world, and she begins dating an opposing pitcher. There are a great many young adult books that follow multicultural or interracial protagonists attempting to find their footing in a white world. The Hate You Give and Dear Martin are a few of the brilliant ones. This, too, could have kept those books company if it had just focused on Alex's most pressing need: feeling fully accepted by her adoptive white family while coming to grips with the history she doesn't know about her biological parents. The added dimension of baseball and the complicated relationship with her father were just too much.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ilana D'Angelo

    Currently, I am on page 80, finished part 1 of the book. So far, the book is very good and interesting. I say interesting because of the fact how real she is with the reader. What has happened so far is that Alex, main character of the book, is a black girl who is adopted into a white family. She was 5 months old when she was adopted. She is now 16 and had found letters that her parents had been hiding from her. The letters were from her real father who always wrote to her in hopes of getting a Currently, I am on page 80, finished part 1 of the book. So far, the book is very good and interesting. I say interesting because of the fact how real she is with the reader. What has happened so far is that Alex, main character of the book, is a black girl who is adopted into a white family. She was 5 months old when she was adopted. She is now 16 and had found letters that her parents had been hiding from her. The letters were from her real father who always wrote to her in hopes of getting a response and meeting Alex. Due to Alex finding these letters, she has been explaining how things don't feel the same between her and her parents, as well as siblings. Her sister Kit had talked about Alex being black while they were at the dinner table. Basically, questioning how Alex doesn't see that she is the only black person in their family and how people give them looks because she is black. It all was very awkward and emotional. She also has met a boy by the name of Reggie, who is black and also plays baseball like she does. I just got to the part where she ran into him at a store and he walked her to her car. So far, this book has been very good and deep in the way of emotionally deep. There is also that idea of her being special needs because she read her adoption papers and saw that he was "special needs". She hasn't brought it up in the book since but knowing that really changes the readers perspective on how she thinks. (update) I finished the book and thought it was very good and appealing. I could connect to the book because I am adopted as well but the only difference is that I am not black in a white family. She had the extra challenge because of the judgement that always circulated everywhere they went together. She was very descriptive and used a lot of pathos by explaining how she felt and how she thought others felt. She also mentioned something very interesting that she found out in the book and this might be a spoiler to some. When she was looking through her letters from her real father, she saw other documentation of the adoption. She was labeled as 'special needs' and that really caught my eye. Later in the book, she goes to the library to research about adoption and the racial issue and she finds out that apparently, if a black kid is set for adoption and is put under special needs, they are cheaper and easier to adopt. I don't believe she was special needs but it explained that because of the color of her skin, the labeled her as 'special needs'. That was so interesting and crazy to me because I would never have guessed that could happen. Overall, the book was very good. The only real downside of the book was the excessive descriptions of baseball. I don't play baseball nor do I know the language of baseball so whenever those sections came, I felt bored and did not understand any of it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    This was required reading for a black heritage conference we're attending as a family. It's the story of a biracial teenager growing up in her white family in Madison, WI. The author does a beautiful job of capturing the otherness felt by transracial adoptees and, also, of the harm caused by white parents that refuse to see color. I cringed many times reading Alex's story. I learned a lot, too. A must read for any transracial adoptive family.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Rating this book was really difficult because I really liked the story and idea of the book but I didn't like the writing as much. I liked that the book was about baseball and had some issues like race and adoption but the book was quite short and ended really quickly without tying up several things.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Natalia Rodriguez

    Natalia Rodriguez Mrs.Marlow ELA hr 2 4 October 2017 See No Color Review See No Color is a great book by Shannon Gibney. This book is Nonfiction, but it’s not a true story, so it's realistic fiction. The topic of this book is about being adopted and how you feel about certain things and some of the things you have to through with being an adoptee. The main character of this book is Alex, she is an adopted African American girl who was adopted into a White family. Some of the other characters in t Natalia Rodriguez Mrs.Marlow ELA hr 2 4 October 2017 See No Color Review See No Color is a great book by Shannon Gibney. This book is Nonfiction, but it’s not a true story, so it's realistic fiction. The topic of this book is about being adopted and how you feel about certain things and some of the things you have to through with being an adoptee. The main character of this book is Alex, she is an adopted African American girl who was adopted into a White family. Some of the other characters in this book are Alex’s father who was a former baseball player, but now is coach for Alex's baseball team, Her Mother who is very nice and acts just like any other Mother, her brother Jason who is also a baseball player on the high school team, and her sister Kit who is very different from the family she is quiet and isn’t into to sports like her two older siblings. The author Shannon Gibney did a really good job with the book. The book was very entertaining and informative, the book was entertaining to me because it talked a lot about a sport I really liked, but it was also informative because it talked about what it’s like being an adopted child and it showed some of the things you have to go through. The writing of this book is really powerful and descriptive because she describes a lot of the things that happen but it’s said in a powerful way. Some strengths about this book is that it’s challenging but not too long to read, the chapters aren’t too short, and it’s a nice book to read in general. In conclusion this is a really good book and I recommend it to people who like sports specifically baseball/softball, and if you just want to be intrigued with this interesting story. This book really caught my eye and I enjoyed reading it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Loved getting to know Alex as she tried to work through her feelings about her transracial adoption, who she was, and her changing relationship with her family and baseball. I will say, for me, there were a few too many loose ends, even if this was supposed to be some work in progress kind of thing. Nonetheless, a very interesting and honest look at identity and transracial adoption. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS Loved getting to know Alex as she tried to work through her feelings about her transracial adoption, who she was, and her changing relationship with her family and baseball. I will say, for me, there were a few too many loose ends, even if this was supposed to be some work in progress kind of thing. Nonetheless, a very interesting and honest look at identity and transracial adoption. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  22. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I appreciate the discussion of what it's like to be a transracial adoptee, but overall this novel was really inconsistent. Alex's narrative voice felt young much of the time. It seemed strange to me that at 16, and at the prompting of her 11-year-old sister, she is only now thinking about her biological family. Some flashbacks show experiences she had with people making assumptions about her family or being bullied by other black kids at school, but she doesn't reflect on them in any way. She al I appreciate the discussion of what it's like to be a transracial adoptee, but overall this novel was really inconsistent. Alex's narrative voice felt young much of the time. It seemed strange to me that at 16, and at the prompting of her 11-year-old sister, she is only now thinking about her biological family. Some flashbacks show experiences she had with people making assumptions about her family or being bullied by other black kids at school, but she doesn't reflect on them in any way. She also is portrayed in some ways as a late bloomer, the book describes her being uncomfortable with the way her body is changing and how it relates to baseball, but on the other hand she is not at all uncomfortable with her body when she gets physically intimate with her first boyfriend and seems rather mature in those scenes. The setting is also strange. At times it felt like a historical novel, for example in the consistent use of the word "mixed" (as in mixed-race) and the mention of attending a baseball game of a team that hasn't existed in 25 years or so. But Alex also reads blogs at the library, seems to have a cell phone, and reads a book that was published in 2013. It made me wonder how much of the story is autobiographical and how that might have muddled the timeline. Finally, the ending is really abrupt. Alex's falling out with baseball is not really developed. In the beginning there is a lot of work done to show how much Alex really loves baseball, and her decision to quit playing seems more like a passive-aggressive dig at her dad than a sign of growth. Her big decision to quit against her family's wishes all happens off page, and for a character who is silent throughout most of the book and lets people talk for her or goes along with assumptions people make even if it means that she has to lie to keep them going, it felt really strange and unbelievable.

  23. 5 out of 5

    April

    3.5. I am an advocate of this narrative--there definitely needs to be more adoptee voices in literature, esp. transracial, transnational, and esp. in YA. Adoption is something I'm always trying to learn more about, and this perspective shone some light on tough issues that transracial families can face. I'm also very glad this book is getting exposure through its recent acquisition of the MN Book Award for Youth Lit! The first half was also very engaging! I couldn't put it down and read it late i 3.5. I am an advocate of this narrative--there definitely needs to be more adoptee voices in literature, esp. transracial, transnational, and esp. in YA. Adoption is something I'm always trying to learn more about, and this perspective shone some light on tough issues that transracial families can face. I'm also very glad this book is getting exposure through its recent acquisition of the MN Book Award for Youth Lit! The first half was also very engaging! I couldn't put it down and read it late into the night. The reason for the lower rating is because I wasn't in love with the author's writing in places, as well as the narrative resolution. From a writing standpoint, the book felt overworked in places (and, having heard the author at a recent talk say that she had been working on it for, I think, 10 years, it makes sense). I found Kit unbelievable for an 11 year old - and I am usually quite forgiving in this area (ie. John Green novels, Ender's Game, etc. etc.) Lastly, the ending felt super rushed and unresolved. I understand that, in life, things aren't tied up with ribbons, but there should have been some sort of scene toward the end with Alex and her family that, whether positively or negatively, addressed some of the major events toward the end of the book (view spoiler)[such as Detroit, her love life, baseball, and how she's pretty much quitting everything all at once. I found this dissatisfying. I think the argument of, "Sometimes this is just how life goes," weak from a literary perspective. (hide spoiler)]

  24. 5 out of 5

    John Clark

    Identity in your teen years is often like fresh Jell-O, slippery, hard to mold and quivery. What if you're a different color than everyone else in your family and have absolutely no reference point as to what that means? Meet sixteen year old Alex Kirtridge, a transracial adoptee. She knows her father was black and her mother was white, but that's pretty much it. Black kids treat her as though she's some odd thing and her adoptive parents pretty much ignore her ethnic heritage, pretending they a Identity in your teen years is often like fresh Jell-O, slippery, hard to mold and quivery. What if you're a different color than everyone else in your family and have absolutely no reference point as to what that means? Meet sixteen year old Alex Kirtridge, a transracial adoptee. She knows her father was black and her mother was white, but that's pretty much it. Black kids treat her as though she's some odd thing and her adoptive parents pretty much ignore her ethnic heritage, pretending they are colorblind. None of this helps her self image or comfort in her skin. She's really good at baseball and plays on her dad's team with her brother Jason, who is a year younger. At the time of her adoption, her parents believed they couldn't have kids of their own, but now there are two, Jason and a sister Kit who is several years younger. Kit seems to be the only family member who 'gets' Alex's feelings about her black heritage and pushes her to do something about it by showing her letters her real dad wrote to her. Alex's parents hid them and learning this, along with their contents, unsettles her even more as does her attraction and budding relationship with Reggie, a black pitcher on another high school team. What Alex does about her lack of self-image, her birth dad, her feelings about Reggie and baseball as well as her course in the future make this a very good book for teens with similar backgrounds as well as teens who want to understand friends or peers in similar family situations. It's a good choice for school and public libraries where issues like this are important.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Denise Fisher

    I was so incredibly disappointed in this book. I went in truly excited as to where the story might lead me - a book about a biracial child who was adopted by a white family - Great subject! But then I started reading. First, the author continually uses the word mixed instead of biracial. I could of handled it if she had said mixed race but no, she just said mixed. Second, the father in the story continually to remind people that the daughter is "mixed". It seems as though he is offended by the b I was so incredibly disappointed in this book. I went in truly excited as to where the story might lead me - a book about a biracial child who was adopted by a white family - Great subject! But then I started reading. First, the author continually uses the word mixed instead of biracial. I could of handled it if she had said mixed race but no, she just said mixed. Second, the father in the story continually to remind people that the daughter is "mixed". It seems as though he is offended by the black part of her race and needs to dilute it. I have known, literally, dozens couples who adopt outside of their race and they most certainly do not adopt a race to which they hold animosity or prejudice. Third, the author shows little to no affection between the daughter and her adopted parents. She almost completely disregards them. Fourth, the main character, Alex, gives up her virginity with very little thought before or after. No conversation or forethought. This is a YA book. I find the writer's choice to portray this act as a non-event irresponsible and out of character for Alex. Overall, as I biracial person and a mother, I would NEVER recommend this book to a juvenile or teen.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Read InAGarden

    Alex is a transracial adoptee - her mother was white, father was black and she was given up for adoption at birth. Her adoptive parents are very into baseball and have been training her for baseball greatness her entire life. In her late teens, she suffers the dual crisis of beginning to not be the perfect baseball player (as the boys begin to physically out perform her) and facing her biological past. There is enough meat on the bone of each crisis for a full book but both of them are relegated Alex is a transracial adoptee - her mother was white, father was black and she was given up for adoption at birth. Her adoptive parents are very into baseball and have been training her for baseball greatness her entire life. In her late teens, she suffers the dual crisis of beginning to not be the perfect baseball player (as the boys begin to physically out perform her) and facing her biological past. There is enough meat on the bone of each crisis for a full book but both of them are relegated to a partial story. There are many good passages that tell the story of parent living the sports dream through his children, a girl dealing with sports in a boys world, and the internal drive for perfection. There are just as many good passages about Alex dealing with life as a adopted transracial teen and all that means in her life - the questions and confusion she has, how she feels she has no one to confide in, and how out of place she feels. I really appreciate the intent of Gibney to tell the story of a transracial teen; I just felt that this story left readers without an emotional connection with Alex.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melle

    I didn't have high hopes for this book -- not because of the issues of identity and race and family -- but because baseball does not captivate my attention or imagination unless I am sitting in a stadium and eating ballpark snacks. Holy moly, this book blew me away. It's not just a good story about adoptees, about family, about race, about identity -- it's a good story, period. Alex is a phenomenal character, and all the characters are realistic, sympathetic, and compelling. Also, guest appearan I didn't have high hopes for this book -- not because of the issues of identity and race and family -- but because baseball does not captivate my attention or imagination unless I am sitting in a stadium and eating ballpark snacks. Holy moly, this book blew me away. It's not just a good story about adoptees, about family, about race, about identity -- it's a good story, period. Alex is a phenomenal character, and all the characters are realistic, sympathetic, and compelling. Also, guest appearance by Hank Aaron, one of the very few baseball players I've a) heard of and b) admire the hell out of? Yes, please. Added bonuses: Milwaukee setting (hi, Sconnie neighbors!) and Minnesota author (REPRESENT!). This book is for baseball/softball players, for your daughters (adopted, biological, or simply of the heart), for kids who have darker or lighter skin than the others around them and who have been forced to pay attention to this, for the kids in the city and for the kids on the rez, and, really, for everyone.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kricket

    my husband: "are you reading a book about sports?!?!" yes, and i read it in two sittings! luckily (for me) this book is more about identity and finding oneself than baseball, although the game does factor in as alex's father is a baseball coach who pushes his kids to be the best possible players. alex is a biracial teenage girl adopted into a white family that does not like to talk about race and insists they don't "see her as black." except for her younger sister Kit, who knows that their parents my husband: "are you reading a book about sports?!?!" yes, and i read it in two sittings! luckily (for me) this book is more about identity and finding oneself than baseball, although the game does factor in as alex's father is a baseball coach who pushes his kids to be the best possible players. alex is a biracial teenage girl adopted into a white family that does not like to talk about race and insists they don't "see her as black." except for her younger sister Kit, who knows that their parents have been hiding information about her birth family from alex. as alex explores her birth family and begins a relationship with a black guy, she also questions whether she even wants to play baseball, who she is, and what she wants. beautiful writing but for me the ending was just a bit unsatisfying.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Wow! I loved that this book hit the trifecta of greatness: 1) it speaks to other transracial adoptees, and I'm sure is really validating to teens in similar situations; 2) it's incredibly empathetic---to live in Alex's head and to see her experience--that sense of my worldview expanding--it was tremendous; and 3) it is super well-written and enjoyable to read!! If there are other books about transracial adoption out there, I have not heard of them, so not only is SEE NO COLOR a brilliant story, it Wow! I loved that this book hit the trifecta of greatness: 1) it speaks to other transracial adoptees, and I'm sure is really validating to teens in similar situations; 2) it's incredibly empathetic---to live in Alex's head and to see her experience--that sense of my worldview expanding--it was tremendous; and 3) it is super well-written and enjoyable to read!! If there are other books about transracial adoption out there, I have not heard of them, so not only is SEE NO COLOR a brilliant story, it is a necessary narrative to add to YA and there should be a ton more like it. Also, if you're like me (an adamant NON-sports person), don't be turned off by the baseball on the cover. You can dislike sports and still love this book. ;)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Durr

    I would not have chosen this book to read because the title is an anathema to me. But it's the next book for a book club I'm thinking of joining and the author will be at our gathering. The writing is well-done; I can't fault the author's skill but I didn't like the 16-year-old protagonist, Alexandra Kirtridge. This has happened too often recently as I read YA books (and this one's labeled YA). I did, however, like her younger sisters. I'm not sure why but I have some theories. The protagonist i I would not have chosen this book to read because the title is an anathema to me. But it's the next book for a book club I'm thinking of joining and the author will be at our gathering. The writing is well-done; I can't fault the author's skill but I didn't like the 16-year-old protagonist, Alexandra Kirtridge. This has happened too often recently as I read YA books (and this one's labeled YA). I did, however, like her younger sisters. I'm not sure why but I have some theories. The protagonist is so overwhelmed with white-people angst, she makes awfully poor decisions, lies for no good reason and to no good end, and does things she knows at the time she does them should not be done. I really hate stories where angst is so much in the center of the story. I expect adolescents to struggle with identify; it's part of the reality of American adolescence. But it got old fast when all of Alex's real struggles came down to her own nebulous angst. I did like Alex's sister Kit who is several years younger and sees through deception and hypocrisy with a wisdom far beyond her years. She not only gets to the truth, she speaks it without fear. While the protagonist struggles with her identify (not just her racial identify as a child with a black father and white mother, adopted into a white family with a controlling father), Kit not only knows herself, she also has insight into Alex and the rest of her family. Even Alex's brother who suffers through his own angst doesn't irritate me as much as Alex does. Maybe I want YA books to help young people with their own struggles. Although the author provides bits here and there as Alex searches for her birth father, Alex herself is not helpful for a child of transracial adoption reading this novel. Maybe someone who's not Black will read her character differently than I. I don't blame her for not knowing who she is racially, but even her search for her racial identify is fraught with white angst. Her struggle became tedious for me and I got bored with it. In the end, I didn't care whether she found herself or not. When I got to the end, I was still unsure. But you decide for yourself. It is worth the read and the conversation.

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