When the Black Girl Sings by Bill Wright
Eighth grader Lahni, the only African American at her private girls’ school and adopted daughter of white parents, is nominated for a singing talent competition at school. Hesitant at first , she becomes more invested in the contest after she and her mother start attending an integrated church with an almost all black choir. Inspired by the choir’s soloist, Lahni asks her and the church organist for voice lessons, but instead they invite her to join the choir. Impressed by her voice, they start giving her solo parts at services as she and her mother continue to attend church. Her father has moved from their home in a small Connecticut town to a hotel in New York City and is seeing another woman, causing Lahni much hurt and anger at him. Issues with other students at school and a boy from the local boys’ private school give Lahni other stress at the same time. I will not give away the ending!
I totally enjoyed this book. Told in the first person, Lahni makes the reader believe she is really telling her story as it happens. The book has no fake happy endings, but strives to be true to life. The fact that the main character is in eighth grade should not stop anyone from reading it!
Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson