Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne
Penguin Random House Audio
Publication Date: January 11, 2021
The protagonist of this novel-in-verse is tired of being overshadowed by her best friend, tired of her sister’s harsh criticisms, and tired of the boys she plays basketball with thinking she’s not good enough to hang with them. She meets a neighborhood boy who she hopes will help her escape her feelings of unworthiness but their relationship leads to more frustration and pain.
Mahogany L. Browne’s poetry background shines through in this gritty and heart-felt coming of age story. The emotional language and vibrant prose connect the reader to Skyy on her journey of self-discovery in an almost stream of consciousness style. Browne’s narration plays with the conversational flow of the text and makes it accessible to even reluctant readers. This is a short listen but one that can be played multiple times with new themes and connections appearing with each listen.
Fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds will appreciate the poetry of the novel, and the themes of friendship and emotional struggles with growing up connect to When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk and Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson.
–Annie Jansen (currently reading: The Tradition by Jericho Brown)
Other Nominated Titles
- Pocket Change Collective: Concrete Kids by Amyra León; narrated by Amyra León (10/27/2020)
- Pocket Change Collective: Taking on the Plastics Crisis by Hannah Testa; narrated by Hannah Testa (10/13/2020)
- Out: How to Be Your Authentic Self by Miles McKenna & introduction by Tyler Oakley; narrated by Miles McKenna (10/27/2020)
- Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas; narrated by Dion Graham (1/12/2021)
- Heiress Apparently: Daughters of the Dynasty Book 1 by Diana Ma; narrated by Catherine Ho (12/1/2020)
- Lore by Alexandra Bracken; narrated by Fryda Wolff (1/5/2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the field nomination form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.