Friday, March 12, 2021

The True Definition of Neva Beane by Christine Kendall - OPTIONAL

The True Definition of Neva Beane by Christine Kendall
, 240 pages. Scholastic Inc, 2020. $10 

Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG (Discussion of bras and boobs); Violence: G 



12yo Neva Beane is experiencing the pains and confusion of growing up. With the help of her dictionary and extensive vocabulary, she is navigating her way through her changing body, new bras and her appearance. Mom and Dad are on the road working, leaving Neva and her brother, Clay, living with their old fashion grandparents. Clay has decided to be an activist against the wishes of Granddad and Nana and Neva's friend Jamila, is getting all of the attention. Neva is not sure where she fits in, in the politically charged neighborhood of West Philadelphia. Through the comfort of words, Neva is able to make sense of her world she is now slowly feeling part of. Neva decides opening up to those around her is actually much better than holding everything inside.

 I liked the political aspect of this story because it could help young readers understand some of the events currently happening in our world. I don't like how the cover looks very juvenile but the content of the story is for a more mature audience. I would not recommend this book to elementary students, but the cover makes it look like that is where it belongs. 

Jessica Nelson Librarian 

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