MAIZON AT BLUE HILL by Jacqueline Woodson


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In the second of a trilogy, Maizon describes her experiences as a scholarship student, one of five blacks at an exclusive girls' school in Connecticut: events offstage in Last Summer with Maizon (1990), which focused on friend Margaret in sixth grade in public school back in Brooklyn. Woodson neatly stacks her deck so that Maizon typifies a bright, conscientious girl deciding to bow out of a situation so alien that she finds it untenable; still, the author provides enough range among other characters to make the story believable, while Maizon herself is poignantly real. Though Maizon had described herself as an outcast at Blue Hill, the ""true"" story here is more complex: three of the other black girls (all older) have given up on whites and stick exclusively together, deriding the fourth--raised by her white father--as an ""oreo."" Confronted by their ultimatum and stung by the insensitivity of some of the whites, Maizon decides to be friends with no one; and though she eventually responds to her nice roommate and has real liking for some fine teachers, loneliness is the overriding factor in her decision to ""find a place where smart black girls from Brooklyn could feel like they belonged."" Deeply felt and intelligently written, a book that stands fairly well alone, though it is enriched by knowing Maizon's earlier background.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0698119576
Page count: 132pp
Publisher: Delacorte