Review of Brown Girl Ghosted

Brown Girl Ghosted
by Mintie Das
High School    Houghton    289 pp.    g
3/20    978-0-358-12889-2    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-0-358-13130-4    $9.99

Sixteen-year-old Violet Choudhury is a cheerleader; the best friend of Meryl, a popular iconoclast; and a daughter who never knew her dead mother and barely sees her largely absent father. She’s also one of the few people of color in Meadowdale, Illinois, and (as her mother was) a member of the Aiedeo, a group of East Indian warrior queens. When her mean-girl classmate, head cheerleader Naomi, is murdered, the Aiedeo give Violet an ultimatum — catch Naomi’s killer or become a ghost. This supernatural thriller presents a main character caught in-between — between India and America, between popular and invisible, between Aiedeo and ordinary. Though the Aiedeo and their purpose could have been better explored, Das creates a credible and complex portrait of the challenges of being a teen girl. Both the supernatural and realistic components have much to say about patriarchy and its impact on young women, and while some lessons feel less than gracefully integrated, the elements about judging others too quickly ring true.

From the March/April 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Christina Dobbs
Christina Dobbs
Christina Dobbs is an assistant professor of English Education at Boston University. She is a former high school teacher, literacy coach, and reading specialist, and she studied adolescent literacy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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