Green: A Novel
Sam Graham-Felsen, former chief blogger for Barack Obama, offers an astonishing debut novel that tackles the social challenges of middle school, racial bias and discrimination among young people, and the complicated and emotional journey to finding and maintaining friendship. David Greenfeld is a prime target for bullying at his new school, where he is only one of the three white students. When his parents deny his request to transfer to a private school, Green believes acceptance to the acclaimed Boston Latin high school will solve everything. Marlon Wellings, a black classmate who lives in what he calls the “ghetto” and comes to Green’s defense one day in the school cafeteria, also dreams of attending Latin. As both prepare for their entrance exams, they forge a friendship over watching Celtics games and discussing religion. While Mar feels weighed down by his difficult circumstances, Green begins to recognize that although his life at school seems unfair, his white privilege will take him far in the outside world.
Both innocent and astute, Green is an unflinchingly honest narrator whose voice is always natural. Graham-Felsen knows how to use humor while remembering to treat sensitive issues like racial divisiveness with care. Unfortunately some of the minor characters feel unfinished and are at times distracting; however, Green and Mar equally shine as wholly developed and complex characters. Insightful and relevant, Graham-Felsen’s fresh take on a coming-of-age story is a must-read.
|Page Count||320 pages|
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