Today’s episode is with middle grade author, Mariama J Lockington. The Read to Write Kidlit book club read In the Key of Us this month. We read closely to notice what Mariama did to engage us in her book and then asked her questions about writing craft. Our goal is to learn more about writing craft through discussions with each other, our reading, and our discussion with the author. We hope you also learn more about writing after this podcast.
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Music credits: Will Saulnier
Mariama J Lockington is the author of 3 novels: For Black Girls Like Me, In the Key of Us, and Forever Is Now. She also wrote for an anthology, This is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories Her, Him, Them, Us.
In the Key of Us
Stonewall Book Awards—Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Honor Book
From the author of the critically acclaimed novel For Black Girls Like Me, Mariama J. Lockington, comes a coming-of-age story surrounding the losses that threaten to break us and the friendships that make us whole again.
Thirteen-year-old Andi feels stranded after the loss of her mother, the artist who swept color onto Andi’s blank canvas. When she is accepted to a music camp, Andi finds herself struggling to play her trumpet like she used to before her whole world changed. Meanwhile, Zora, a returning camper, is exhausted trying to please her parents, who are determined to make her a flute prodigy, even though she secretly has a dancer’s heart.
At Harmony Music Camp, Zora and Andi are the only two Black girls in a sea of mostly white faces. In kayaks and creaky cabins, the two begin to connect, unraveling their loss, insecurities, and hopes for the future. And as they struggle to figure out who they really are, they may just come to realize who they really need: each other.
In the Key of Us is a lyrical ode to music camp, the rush of first love, and the power of one life-changing summer.
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