Review of The Weight of Blood

The Weight of Blood The Weight of Blood
by Tiffany D. Jackson
High School     Tegen/HarperCollins    416 pp.         g
9/22     978-0-06-302914-9     $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-302916-3    $12.99

Madison Washington has always been bullied because she’s skittish and quiet and dresses in 1950s attire. She tolerates the incessant taunting because she has more to worry about than her small-minded classmates. Maddy is biracial and passing as white in a small Southern town that still has segregated dances, and her abusive father is a religious, conservative fanatic who treats her Black heritage as a sin and forces her to pray in front of photos of white Hollywood stars from the past. Then an unexpected rainstorm causes her flat-ironed hair to rise, revealing that Maddy is not the white girl she has pretended to be, and the bullying intensifies. Meanwhile, a classmate captures a racist incident on video and it goes viral, so student leaders propose an integrated prom to fix the school’s reputation. When several students commit a racist prank against Maddy at prom, they find out that she has another, ­supernatural secret—one that will result in a deadly incident to be pieced together years later by the true-crime podcast that serves as the book’s framing device. This reimagining of King’s Carrie is a thrilling, unflinching horror narrative that takes on colorism, racism, classism, microaggressions, white saviorism, and respectability politics. A perfect choice for fans of Àbíké-Íyímídé’s Ace of Spades .

From the September/October 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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