Genesis Begins Again (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

By the time you finish reading the first sentence of this book, you will have been transported into the complicated world of Genesis Anderson, a 13-year-old black girl whose alcoholic father cannot hold a job, whose family gets evicted from their home on a regular basis, and who has an ongoing list of things that she does not like about herself, most notably, the darkness of her skin. Society, including her own family, has made her believe that if her skin were lighter, like her mother's, her life would be perfect. Genesis is ready to go to any extreme to make that happen.

This was an honest and, at times, difficult story to read, but I could not put it down. Genesis is a beautiful and complex middle grader who has not been dealt an easy card. This book is eye-opening for those who have never experienced colorism, and gives a voice to those who live with it every day. Genesis Anderson is a character that everyone should meet.

— From Laure's Picks


“Reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.” —The New York Times

“One of the best books I have ever read…will live in the hearts of readers for the rest of their lives.” —Colby Sharp, founder of Nerdy Book Club

“An emotional, painful, yet still hopeful adolescent journey…one that needed telling.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“I really loved this.” —Sharon M. Draper, author of the New York Times bestseller Out of My Mind

This deeply sensitive and “compelling” (BCCB) debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.

There are ninety-six reasons why thirteen-year-old Genesis dislikes herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list:
-Because her family is always being put out of their house.
-Because her dad has a gambling problem. And maybe a drinking problem too.
-Because Genesis knows this is all her fault.
-Because she wasn’t born looking like Mama.
-Because she is too black.

Genesis is determined to fix her family, and she’s willing to try anything to do so…even if it means harming herself in the process. But when Genesis starts to find a thing or two she actually likes about herself, she discovers that changing her own attitude is the first step in helping change others.

About the Author

Alicia D. Williams is the author of Genesis Begins Again, which received a Newbery and Kirkus Prize honors, was a William C. Morris Award finalist, and for which she won the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent. A graduate of the MFA program at Hamline University, and an oral storyteller in the African American tradition, she is also a teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781481465816
ISBN-10: 1481465813
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Publication Date: August 18th, 2020
Pages: 384