The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond

Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9781101585016
  • 240 Pages
  • Nancy Paulsen Books
  • 9 – 12


Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods’ moving, uplifting story of a girl finally meeting the African American side of her family explores racism and how it feels to be biracial, and celebrates families of all kinds.

Violet is biracial, but she lives with her white mother and sister, attends a mostly white school in a white town, and sometimes feels like a brown leaf on a pile of snow. Now that she’s eleven, she feels it’s time to learn about her African American heritage, so she seeks out her paternal grandmother. When Violet is invited to spend two weeks with her new Bibi (Swahili for “grandmother”) and learns about her lost heritage, her confidence in herself grows and she discovers she’s not a shrinking Violet after all. From a Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author, this is a powerful story about a young girl finding her place in the world.


* “Violet’s a bright, engaging biracial preteen. . . . Infused with humor, hope and cleareyed compassion—a fresh take on an old paradigm.”
— Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“Woods deftly raises complex issues of race and identity and leaves them open for discussion: whether race matters, what makes a family, how it feels to be different, and what it means to be biracial. ‘To white people,’ Violet thinks, ‘I’m half black. To black people, I’m half white. . . . Is that what I am, a percentage?’”
— Publishers Weekly
“Violet is a winning protagonist, full of questions and full of hope. She’s believably complex. . . . Her self-conscious reflections enable readers to parse the symbolism behind her name and see how her experiences are helping her grow into a person who fits it—a sometimes shy, sometimes sparkly and strong person to whom many readers will relate.”
— The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
– Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“Violet’s charming quirks, which include nighttime wishing rituals and keeping a mental catalogue of sophisticated vocabulary words, prove endearing. . . . Admirably touches upon profound issues related to identity and race and tenderly conveys intergenerational bonds.”
– School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“Drama abounds as family secrets are revealed. As usual, Brenda Woods’ characters are interesting and realistic. Everyone will find someone to identify with. This ‘biracial’ novel covers the subject with sensitivity, realism, and accuracy which not many books do.”
– Library Media Connection
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