Book Review: Color Me In by Natasha Diaz


Whitney Robbins, Editor

In her coming-of-age book Color Me In, Natasha Diaz explores racial discrimination as well as social issues as she tells the story of biracial teen Nevaeh Levitz. Nevaeh’s black mom and Jewish dad split up, moving Nevaeh from a wealthy suburb of New York to her mom’s family home in Harlem. There, she is forced to confront her identity for the first time. 

Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets too difficult: she stays quiet. It isn’t until she stumbles upon a family secret, falls in love, and personally sees the injustice her family face that she begins to realize she has a voice, and choices in which to use it.

Acceptance and self-discovery are hard things for people to achieve. This can be especially true for biracial teens (or biracial people in general), like Nevaeh. Here, Diaz effectively creates one of the most important qualities of a book: connection to the readers. She includes many things biracial people face in reality – racism from authorities and the community towards their darker-skinned family members, facing stereotypes from one race about her their race (and vise versa), and finding a place where she can belong as a whole rather than half. While using your voice is very important, Diaz teaches readers about the appropriate times to use it and the consequences of using it at the wrong time;

“[A] beautifully and compelling coming-of-age story about not just finding your voice, but learning the important lessons of when and how best to use it.” -Julie Buxbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things

Whether you’re a biracial reader looking for connection or someone looking for a good read, try Color Me In.