Friday, September 18, 2009

Book Review: I'm Down by Mishna Wolff

Here's the gist of I'm Down by Mishna Wolff -- Mishna, who is white, grows up in a poor, all black neighborhood where she lives with her Dad (who is also white but has assumed the culture of the neighborhood), Step-Mom (who is black), and siblings (white and black). Although I'm purposely leaving out a lot of the story here, I'm Down is a coming of age memoir that recounts the author's story of survival, seeking her Dad's approval, and, ultimately, discovering her place in the world.

I'm Down
definitely has it's laugh-out-loud moments, especially early on. In fact, had Wolff's book had been written in the 1970's, it might have been made into a sitcom -- probably in the genre of Welcome Back Kotter, Good Times, What's Happening!, etc. but with a dash of Roseanne (or any other working class white family sitcom/drama) Yeah, it is that funny at times but then there's that, you know, stereotyping stuff. Hmm. But, luckily, there's more than that too -- real pain and sadness juxtaposed with self-discovery and hope. My grade = B/B-

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