Bullying at school can be a terrible experience, and yet sometimes it can be quite hard to see the reason for the bullying. Why, for instance, would a black boy tease a black girl about being black?
John-John McIntyre is the smallest seventh grader in the world. Even fifth graders can see over his head. Sometimes I have a hard time believing he and me are both thirteen. He's my color, but since second grade he's been teasing me about being too black.
Well, I can think of one reason why John-John might be teasing Maleeka. Perhaps he's jealous because Maleeka is tall and, even if she doesn't quite realise it yet, she's rather gorgeous too. And perhaps he's also jealous of her relationship with Caleb:
He stared at me half the year. I thought he saw what everybody else saw. Skinny, poor, black Maleeka. But Caleb saw something different. He said I was pretty. Said he liked my eyes and sweet cocoa brown skin. He wrote me poems and letters. He put spearmint gum inside. Walked me to class. Gave me a ring. I ain't told Momma.
So when John-John ruined it for Maleeka and Caleb, Maleeka was left with no-one on her side. Maybe it wasn't a very clever move, but Maleeka teamed up with Charlese and her gang, out of self-protection. That didn't improve things much, but it was better than nothing. Until Charlese decided to see how far she could push Maleeka, too ...
This is one of those stories where you can see things going from bad to worse in front of your very eyes. Maleeka is in a difficult situation and there doesn't seem to be anyone she can turn to. She makes some pretty bad mistakes before she finally realises that the new English teacher, the outspoken Miss Saunders, really is on her side.
A hopeful story. I think you will enjoy it.
dominique, girl, age 11, from livermore, United States, on 8th January 2009. Rating:
I think this book relates to black girls who sre getting teased and teated worng. It makes you think about other ppl who are being teased or bullyed. Char was a bully and a evil person. Jonh-jonh was making fun of Mealka and that was just being mean.Caleb was so nice by writing mealka a very nice peom.
kaya, girl, age 11, from NYC, Trinidad and Tobago, on 19th November 2008. Rating: 2/10
in this book "THE SKIN I'M IN"S a very nice sad intresting book because not everybody has to be perfect atucally no body is perfect and the only reason i think nobody is perfect because you wasn't born perfect or anything and neither was maleeka she was trying to fit in and charlese treats her like she has to miss all that (charlese) slave and i also remembered that charlese isn't maleeka mother and nobody was't helping maleeka understand things and also that there was only two(2) people that wanted to help her because they understand what she was going through and she didn't care about that she just cared about fiting in 'fiting in with the wrong people choose better frieds because charlese isn't even maleeka's friend and those two(2) people that wnted to help her with some stuff and those names is caleb and miss saunders and the most thing i like is when at the end she spread her wings and let everybody no i do not care what you say about my skin because black is beautiful but something inside of maleeka that hurts her all the tme and then she remembers that person being there is her father but i'm happy that maleeka spread her wings and dosen't have to care about charlese bulliny her.Thank You EveryBody For Listening
Becky, girl, age 13, from Butler, United States, on 28th August 2008. Rating: 10/10
This book is very interesting, but before i tell you how I feel about it I want to explain the cruelty and disturbances that children get because of the way they look, dress, or where they come from. I think it's discusting how kids and even adults can judge other people by the way they look. I mean seriously, did they chose to look like that? did YOU chose to look like you do now? NO. There are flaws on everybody; even you. When other people tease and bully other kids it's usually because of how they look, I disagree in that action and I'd do anything in the world to make racist people stop. Just because the color of their skin, or the nationality they are...they shouldn't be treated any differently. It bothers me, and I don't even get teased. I just think its so unfair and horrible to those poor kids. Everyone that treats the kids like that, should be ashamed. Back to the book! It was such an inspiring novel, It's perfect for children and adults...anyone can connect with it, in someway! Maleeka is a wonderful girl, very wise, strong, and intelligent. The other people that teased her because of the way she looked was heart-breaking. Miss Saunders was a good person that came into her life...it's always a good thing to know someone that gets the same treatment as you do, even though everyone should be treated the same way no matter what they look like! (If someone treats you differently it should only depend on the way they act mean or nice) Maleeka would inspire other young children to take themselves as who they are, and whats in their heart..not anything else! Believe in yourself and what you can accomplish. I loved the book and i think hanging around with Char, Raina, and Raise was a bad choice, Desda was a true friend. John-John was rude and obnoxious. I just can't stand most racist and ignorant people nowa-days. What I'm trying to come across here is that this book, "The Skin I'm in" leads out a message: Everything that counts in a person is what's on the inside, not the outside.
If you want to buy The Skin I'm In by Sharon G Flake and help readingmatters, please use these links
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