Blended

Blended

eBook - 2018
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Eleven-year-old Isabella's blended family is more divided than ever in this "timely but genuine" (Publishers Weekly) story about divorce and racial identity from the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind, Sharon M. Draper.
Eleven-year-old Isabella's parents are divorced, so she has to switch lives every week: One week she's Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she's Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves.

Because of this, Isabella has always felt pulled between two worlds. And now that her parents are divorced, it seems their fights are even worse, and they're always about HER. Isabella feels completely stuck in the middle, split and divided between them more than ever. And she is beginning to realize that being split between Mom and Dad involves more than switching houses, switching nicknames, switching backpacks: it's also about switching identities. Her dad is black, her mom is white, and strangers are always commenting: "You're so exotic!" "You look so unusual." "But what are you really?" She knows what they're really saying: "You don't look like your parents." "You're different." "What race are you really?" And when her parents, who both get engaged at the same time, get in their biggest fight ever, Isabella doesn't just feel divided, she feels ripped in two. What does it mean to be half white or half black? To belong to half mom and half dad? And if you're only seen as half of this and half of that, how can you ever feel whole?

It seems like nothing can bring Isabella's family together again—until the worst thing happens. Isabella and Darren are stopped by the police. A cell phone is mistaken for a gun. And shots are fired.
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

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t
Twins_13
Oct 26, 2020

Wow! Where do I start? The second I started reading this book, I fell in love. This book followed a young mixed girl with divorced parents, and how she tried to fit in when she felt like she was two halves. Sharon Draper captures Isabella's passion for her family and for the piano with eloquent prose and such rhythmic sentences. The book had such a good flow and a terrific balance of the internal and external conflict.

JCLHeatherM Jan 29, 2020

Preteen Isabella finds herself going in multiple directions when her parents divorce and end up with a 50-50 split custody of their daughter. Isabella fights for her own voice and identity against her parents and the roles that society believes she belongs to.

h
HUANGRUIXI
Dec 10, 2019

I reccommed this book to everyone cause this book is amazing for all ages

p
pink_dolphin_2294
Oct 27, 2019

I loved this book. This author has written a lot of fantastic books. In this book though I felt like Isabella’s story wasn’t wrapped up properly. There are still way too many things you wonder at the end and it feels like that’s when the story really begins for her. The ending is the climax and you never really get to see how it resolves.

m
maroon_penguin_37
Sep 09, 2019

This book was awsome and I love Sharon Drapers other books. I would defenetaly recommend this book.

i
indigo_cat_1243
Aug 15, 2019

Isabella is such a relatable character. Although I like this story, It seems kind of unfinished. She never got to do 3 really big things and I think that those things should be in the epilogue. But overall it’s a great book and I totally recommend it.

m
Merhan_
Aug 04, 2019

Isabella has a story that is relatable for so many people. Her parents are divorced and she just wants somewhat of a normal life. She is an amazing role model for so many people, how she is trying to be strong for the people around her. Blended is an amazing story and I totally recommend it.

c
crayolabee
Mar 02, 2019

Isabella is an interesting character. In some ways, she feels real -- her parents are divorced and she kind of wishes they weren't; she's biracial and tired of being told she looks "exotic"; she's a tween who loves slime. In other ways, though, she's just a little too perky and polished and uses a few! too many! exclamation points! wow! (And I say this as someone who loves exclamation points!) Still, I probably err on the side of more authentic than not. And even if she falls a little too into the uncanny valley of not-quite-shallow, not-quite-fully-fleshed-out characters, we need someone to take her space.

The main reason I bring up the characterization of Isabella is that we just don't really have much else happening in this book until the very end. She just kind of goes about her daily life, piano practice happens, and parents make decisions without consulting their kids. (Shocking!) The police incident is a big shakeup and important -- but then, not long after, the book just...ends. I think this may have been intended to start conversations, but there almost isn't quite enough to go off of for a good discussion. What happened to the police officer who pulled the trigger? Who out of her family, if anyone, ended up talking to the media about what happened? Were there lawsuits? How did Isabella's life really change after that happened? (Surely it wouldn't be the same.) These things matter, and we aren't given the benefit of any of that information. Maybe that's the point, to talk about how the circumstances would change, but how many kids will really end up discussing this book the way it wants to be discussed?

Overall, some minor flaws don't negate this book's importance and value. I would still recommend this book in a heartbeat. But adult readers and caregivers of children reading this novel should be prepared to discuss it, not just set-and-forget.

Hand to younger readers who aren't quite ready for The Hate U Give, but still need to talk about racial differences and police bias incidents. I would be interested to hear from Black/white biracial kids whether they think this book is realistic or overly simplistic, as well.

d
darladoodles
Jan 27, 2019

Isabella is an eleven-year-old girl living two lives: one with her white mother and boyfriend with an awesome monster truck; another with her buttoned up black father, his decorator girlfriend and her over-achieving son. What I liked about the book was the honest depiction of life as a daughter of divorced parents. For the most part the relationship is amicable, but friction still erupts from time to time trapping Isabella in the middle. While riding with her soon-to-be stepbrother to her big piano recital (Pianopalooza), conflict comes in out of left field. The police scene is jarring and demonstrates a substantial lack of training on the part of the officers in that town. We are all appalled by such behavior. Would have liked to read about changes/ramifications to department members from their lack of judgment.

b
booknrrd
Jan 22, 2019

Blended is the story of a young mixed race girl whose white mom and African-American dad have divorced, and their fighting and custody arrangement have her feeling a little divided. In addition Isabella and her friends find themselves victims of acts of everyday racism until things come to a head at the end of the novel.

I enjoyed this book. I thought it handled the challenges of custody battles, divorce, and blended families well, and the exploration of racism was well-handled also.

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green_whale_310
Aug 13, 2020

green_whale_310 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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blue_dog_47359
May 29, 2020

blue_dog_47359 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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violet_gazelle_96
Apr 14, 2019

violet_gazelle_96 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 12

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orange_fox_879
Feb 03, 2019

orange_fox_879 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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Divya8720
Dec 07, 2018

Divya8720 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

OPL_KrisC Nov 27, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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