In the Key of Us by Mariama J. Lockington
Ages 8 – 12
On Sale Now!
From the author of the critically acclaimed novel For Black Girls Like Me, Mariama J. Lockington, comes a coming-of-age story surrounding the losses that threaten to break us and the friendships that make us whole again.
Thirteen-year-old Andi feels stranded after the loss of her mother, the artist who swept color onto Andi’s blank canvas. When she is accepted to a music camp, Andi finds herself struggling to play her trumpet like she used to before her whole world changed. Meanwhile, Zora, a returning camper, is exhausted trying to please her parents, who are determined to make her a flute prodigy, even though she secretly has a dancer’s heart.
At Harmony Music Camp, Zora and Andi are the only two Black girls in a sea of mostly white faces. In kayaks and creaky cabins, the two begin to connect, unraveling their loss, insecurities, and hopes for the future. And as they struggle to figure out who they really are, they may just come to realize who they really need: each other.
In the Key of Us is a lyrical ode to music camp, the rush of first love, and the power of one life-changing summer.
Praise for In the Key of Us:
★ “Alternating the two perspectives with verse interstitials, Lockington (For Black Girls Like Me) weaves an exploration of mental health, self-harm, and microaggressions with a love letter to music, the importance of representation, and the work of sticking up for the person one dreams of becoming.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “Told in Andi’s and Zora’s alternating perspectives, the well-paced coming-of-age narrative is sprinkled with contemporary references that bolster its authenticity as it sensitively explores topics such as racism and self-harm and offers a touching portrayal of young queer love…Vivid writing and relatable characters make this a worthwhile read.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “Lockington elevates what is already an insightful middle-grade romance to a moving portrayal of two girls working toward themselves and each other, carrying the weight of other people’s expectations and the pain of past traumas… An authentic look at how identity and relationships transform under shifting middle grade dynamics, this is a must-have for fans of Paula Chase and Frances O’Roark Dowell.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review
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