Mariama Lockington - FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME - a middle grade novel in verse

Come meet Mariama Lockington when she presents and signs, FOR BLACK GIRLS LIKE ME, a Today Show Best Children's Book of 2019.

In this lyrical coming-of-age story about family, sisterhood, music, race, and identity, Mariama J. Lockington draws on some of the emotional truths from her own experiences growing up with an adoptive white family.

I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark.

Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena— the only other adopted black girl she knows— for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend.

Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me?

Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.

For Black Girls Like Me is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do you figure out where you are going if you don’t know where you came from?


Mariama J. Lockington is an adoptee, writer, and nonprofit educator. She has been telling stories and making her own books since the second grade, when she wore short-alls and flower leggings every day to school. Her work has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Buzzfeed News Reader, and she is the author of the poetry chapbook The Lucky Daughter. Mariama holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and Masters in Fine Arts in Poetry from San Francisco State University. She lives in Lexington, KY with her partner and dapple haired dachshund, Henry.


Event date: 

Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 1:00pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books - 513 Octavia Street - New Orleans, LA 70115
For Black Girls Like Me Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780374308049
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - July 30th, 2019

"Lockington’s middle grade debut is a gorgeous, tender depiction of a young Black girl seeking the space to thrive . . . the versatility of its style and structure means this novel could be used in many group discussions centering topics from transracial adoption to genre-blending literature. VERDICT An ­essential purchase for all collections." —School Library Journal, starred review


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