When You Look Like Us

by Pamela N. Harris

On Sale: 01/05/2021

When You Look Like Us

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When You Look Like Us

by Pamela N. Harris

On Sale: 01/05/2021


International Reading Association Notable Book for a Global Society

Golden Kite Award

Odyssey Honor Audiobook

Bank Street Children’s Best Books of the Year

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work

Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee (Mystery Writers of America)

About the Book

From debut author Pamela Harris comes a timely, gripping teen novel about a boy who must take up the search for his sister when she goes missing from a neighborhood where black girls' disappearances are too often overlooked. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Tiffany D. Jackson.

When you look like us—brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades—everyone else thinks you're trouble. No one even blinks twice over a missing black girl from public housing because she must've brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister Nicole just got caught up with her boyfriend—a drug dealer—and his friends. But she's been gone too long. Nic, where are you?

If I hadn't hung up on her that night, she would be at our house, spending time with Grandma.

If I was a better brother, she'd be finishing senior year instead of being another name on a missing persons list.

It's time to step up, to do what the Newport News police department won't.

Bring her home.

Critical Praise

“A high-speed story that will draw teens in and keep them turning pages until they reach the unpredictable and thrilling ending. A must for YA collections.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

“A powerful story about misperceptions, reality, and the lives lived in between.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] poignant debut novel. Harris creates a vividly drawn world, a rich cast of characters, and an authentic neighborhood.” — Booklist

“The book wisely distinguishes preconceptions from prejudice, making clear that the aggressions, microaggressions, and general oppression by white society is a whole lot different than a teenaged kid making a judgment call on his sister’s boyfriend…There’s emotional catharsis in Jay’s finally accepting that he does not have to be perfect to be human.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Harris unapologetically gives voice to the grief that a community can feel when the law fails them, as well as their need to, instead, rely on the hope, love, and power they bring to one another. The strength and endurance of the Black family reverberate throughout this achingly honest debut." — Publishers Weekly


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062945891
  • ISBN 10: 0062945890
  • Imprint: Quill Tree Books
  • On Sale: 01/05/2021
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price:21.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Runaways
  • BISAC2 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Prejudice & Racism
  • BISAC3 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION: Thrillers & Suspense / Crime
  • BISAC4 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Coming of Age
  • BISAC5 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse
  • BISAC6 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Class Differences
  • BISAC7 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Family / Siblings
  • BISAC8 : YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories

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