Category: Problematic Books

I Won’t Be Reading This

green

Yesterday, I was browsing NetGalley for new and upcoming books and I came across this. I was really intrigued by the cover, but when I read the blurb, I was horrified. This book by Sam Graham-Felsen titled Green seems to tell the story of “reverse racism.” There’s a white kid in an all-black school and we’re supposed to feel sorry for him. But then he befriends a black kid and learns his lesson. Is this real? Is Random House really going to publish this? I can’t get over it. Trash trash trash. I’ll post the blurb below so you can read it yourself, and I’d like to know what you think.

A novel of race and privilege in America that you haven’t seen before: a coming-of-age story about a life-changing friendship, propelled by an exuberant, unforgettable voice

“This isn’t some Jedi bull****; the force I’m talking about is real, and its energies are everywhere, working on everyone.”

Boston, 1992. David Greenfeld is one of the few white kids at the Martin Luther King Middle School. Everybody clowns him, girls ignore him, and his hippie parents won’t even buy him a pair of Nikes, let alone transfer him to a private school. Unless he tests into the city’s best public high school—which, if practice tests are any indication, isn’t likely—he’ll be friendless for the foreseeable future.

Nobody’s more surprised than Dave when Marlon Wellings sticks up for him in the school cafeteria. Mar’s a loner from the public housing project on the corner of Dave’s own gentrifying block, and he confounds Dave’s assumptions about black culture: He’s nerdy and neurotic, a Celtics obsessive whose favorite player is the gawky, white Larry Bird. Together, the two boys are able to resist the contradictory personas forced on them by the outside world, and before long, Mar’s coming over to Dave’s house every afternoon to watch vintage basketball tapes and plot their hustle to Harvard. But as Dave welcomes his new best friend into his world, he realizes how little he knows about Mar’s. Cracks gradually form in their relationship, and Dave starts to become aware of the breaks he’s been given—and that Mar has not.

Infectiously funny about the highs and lows of adolescence, and sharply honest in the face of injustice, Sam Graham-Felsen’s debut is a wildly original take on the struggle to rise in America.