"Brown has written a guidebook of survival and wonder."The New York Times
"Just brilliant."Kirkus Reviews
Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexismall through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age story for fans of Renee Watson's Piecing Me Together and Ibi Zoboi's American Street.
Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic . . . everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor.
Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything she’s worked for.
Christy Ottaviano Books
|Publisher:||Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Echo Brown is an African-American writer, performer, and playwright from rural Ohio. A Dartmouth alumna and the first female college graduate in her family, she is currently based in Northern California. Echo is best known for her one-woman show Black Virgins Are Not For Hipsters. Black Girl Unlimited marks her debut.
Echo Brown, actress, and storyteller has written a moving YA novel in Black Girl Unlimited: the Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard. The novel is infused with magical realism and enumerates the nineteen lessons of becoming a wizard. Teenage Echo has been growing up in a challenging situation in Cleveland. A straight-A student, she struggles with family stability. Her father abandoned the family, her mother is an addict, her brothers are pushing down on the corner, and Echo tries to remain laser-focused on her goals. She wants to perform well enough in school to go to her dream college- Dartmouth. How she manages to do this while surviving abuse, neglect, and sexual assault is a powerful story of survival. Brown focuses less on the overall reality of being black in America and more on the realities facing black women. The rawness of the effects of the physical and sexual abuse she says are commonly visited upon women of her community is described in terms of metaphor- the black veil that drops around a person who has been abused or the floating on the ceiling dissociation that allows a victim to survive their abuse. The audiobook, narrated by the author, is a vivid performance of her book. This is a powerful book but it may be difficult for some who have been through similar experiences to read. As a result, I offer content warnings. CW: rape, child sexual abuse, murder, alcoholism, drug abuse, addiction, overdose I received a Digital Review Copy and a Libro.fm audio review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.