Finding My Place by Traci Jones

When 14-year-old Tiphanie’s parents decide to move to a better neighborhood, Tiphanie is forced to leave her friends behind and start a new—mostly white school in a rich suburb called Brent Hills. In 1975 Tiphanie was happy with her life. She lived in Denver and had enough friends. But her parents, who fought long and hard for civil rights wanted more for their daughter. Tiphanie just wanted to fit in and stay with her old friends.

Tiphanie’s parents promised her that she could go back to see her friends weekly. And the family would still belong to their Denver church. But when Tiphanie calls her friends or goes to visit, she feels left out. They even tease her about being an “oreo”—black on the outside; white on the inside. Tiphanie’s parents expect her to represent not just herself and her family but the whole Afro-American culture! That’s a lot of pressure for a young teen.

Tiphanie is miserable. But then one day Jackie Sue comes into her life. Jackie Sue lives in the trailer park. She’s not rich like the other white kids at the school, but she is smart—always using big words that Tiphanie has to ask her to define. And there is one boy that Tiphanie likes. He’s cute and his name is Todd…but he’s white.

Traci L. Jones’ characters are likeable, confused and searching for answers. Set in the mid 1970’s Traci L Jones captures the uncertainties of the new “civil rights movement.”

Review by Barb, CLP-Allegheny


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