Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781442495005
Branch Call Number: J FIC
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 15, 2019

Isabella is such a relatable character. Although I like this story, It seems kind of unfinished. She never got to do 3 really big things and I think that those things should be in the epilogue. But overall it’s a great book and I totally recommend it.

Aug 04, 2019

Isabella has a story that is relatable for so many people. Her parents are divorced and she just wants somewhat of a normal life. She is an amazing role model for so many people, how she is trying to be strong for the people around her. Blended is an amazing story and I totally recommend it.

Mar 02, 2019

Isabella is an interesting character. In some ways, she feels real -- her parents are divorced and she kind of wishes they weren't; she's biracial and tired of being told she looks "exotic"; she's a tween who loves slime. In other ways, though, she's just a little too perky and polished and uses a few! too many! exclamation points! wow! (And I say this as someone who loves exclamation points!) Still, I probably err on the side of more authentic than not. And even if she falls a little too into the uncanny valley of not-quite-shallow, not-quite-fully-fleshed-out characters, we need someone to take her space.

The main reason I bring up the characterization of Isabella is that we just don't really have much else happening in this book until the very end. She just kind of goes about her daily life, piano practice happens, and parents make decisions without consulting their kids. (Shocking!) The police incident is a big shakeup and important -- but then, not long after, the book just...ends. I think this may have been intended to start conversations, but there almost isn't quite enough to go off of for a good discussion. What happened to the police officer who pulled the trigger? Who out of her family, if anyone, ended up talking to the media about what happened? Were there lawsuits? How did Isabella's life really change after that happened? (Surely it wouldn't be the same.) These things matter, and we aren't given the benefit of any of that information. Maybe that's the point, to talk about how the circumstances would change, but how many kids will really end up discussing this book the way it wants to be discussed?

Overall, some minor flaws don't negate this book's importance and value. I would still recommend this book in a heartbeat. But adult readers and caregivers of children reading this novel should be prepared to discuss it, not just set-and-forget.

Hand to younger readers who aren't quite ready for The Hate U Give, but still need to talk about racial differences and police bias incidents. I would be interested to hear from Black/white biracial kids whether they think this book is realistic or overly simplistic, as well.

Jan 27, 2019

Isabella is an eleven-year-old girl living two lives: one with her white mother and boyfriend with an awesome monster truck; another with her buttoned up black father, his decorator girlfriend and her over-achieving son. What I liked about the book was the honest depiction of life as a daughter of divorced parents. For the most part the relationship is amicable, but friction still erupts from time to time trapping Isabella in the middle. While riding with her soon-to-be stepbrother to her big piano recital (Pianopalooza), conflict comes in out of left field. The police scene is jarring and demonstrates a substantial lack of training on the part of the officers in that town. We are all appalled by such behavior. Would have liked to read about changes/ramifications to department members from their lack of judgment.

Jan 22, 2019

Blended is the story of a young mixed race girl whose white mom and African-American dad have divorced, and their fighting and custody arrangement have her feeling a little divided. In addition Isabella and her friends find themselves victims of acts of everyday racism until things come to a head at the end of the novel.

I enjoyed this book. I thought it handled the challenges of custody battles, divorce, and blended families well, and the exploration of racism was well-handled also.

Dec 07, 2018

This book is really good! I love Sharon Draper! I was so lucky to get to meet her!Recommend this book!

OPL_KrisC Nov 27, 2018

An engrossing story about a young girl who has to split her time between her white mother and her black father. It's a good look at divorce and how it can affect kids. I liked how Draper handles the issue of race and how it affects the main character especially with the police incident. For fans of The Hate U Give who want a similar book for a younger audience.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Apr 14, 2019

violet_gazelle_96 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 12

Feb 03, 2019

blue_cat_12857 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Dec 07, 2018

Divya8720 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

OPL_KrisC Nov 27, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top