Patina - Jason Reynolds
"My name is Patina Jones. And I ain't no junk. I also ain't no hair flipper. And most of the girls at Chester Academy are hair flippers who be looking at me like my mom some kind of junk maker. But ain't not of them got guts to come out of their mouths with no craziness. They just turn and flip their dingy ponytails toward me like I care. Tuh."
I won't say Jason Reynolds can do no wrong, but he's certainly kicking butt where middle-grade and YA literature are concerned! He's won debut author awards, best fiction awards, and has given incredible talks about black kids in all manner of situations (just look at Ghost vs All American Boys vs The Boy in the Black Suit, etc.) His writing is swift, entertaining, complex, and incredibly timely.
Patina the second book after Ghost follows Patty and her struggles running while getting used to a new school full of, well, less than "woke" individuals. But pressure starts to build up as she works to take care of her sister, her mother, and also become a number one star on her track team.
Fans of Reynolds' previous books will totally fall in love with Patty as she works hard to make her family proud and show her peers how strong she can be.