- Author Bio
In the tumult of 1970s New York City, seventh graders are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica.
Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they have each other.
Now, at the start seventh grade, they are told they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to a brand-new school built to “mix up the black and white kids.” Their parents don’t want them to be experiments. Francesca’s send her to a private school, leaving Jamila and Josie to take the bus ride without her.
While Francesca is testing her limits, Josie and Jamila find themselves outsiders again at the new school. As the year goes on, the Spanish girls welcome Josie, while Jamila develops a tender friendship with a boy—but it’s a relationship that can exist only at school.
Kids become the bridge to social change in this story reminiscent of Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams Garcia and Revolution by Deborah Wiles.
Strong, diverse fiction by an award-winning author
Universal themes of being an outsider and navigating the challenges of middle school set against the drama and conflict of desegregation and bussing in NYC
A story where kids are asked to solve difficult problems that adults have failed to figure out.
Author Website: marinabudhos.com
Praise for Watched by Marina Budhos:
Walter Dean Myers Award Honor Book, We Need Diverse Books
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book
ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
“A fast-moving, gripping tale.”—SLJ, Starred