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Check It Out: What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster

This is Sarah Enright, with the Sioux City Public Library, and you’re listening to Check It Out. Today, I am recommending, What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster. Set in North Carolina and told over the course of thirty years; it’s a contemporary literary masterpiece encompassing multiple generations of two families, the drama of the burdens they’re dealt, societal debates, moments that define them, and the points at which they ultimately intersect.

Controversy ensues when a county initiative integrates students from a largely black community into a predominately white high school. At the forefront are Gee and Noelle, high school students, who are not only affected by the integration but the debate, as their mother’s fall on opposing sides. Gee’s mother believes this is a life-changing opportunity for her son and Noelle’s mother is adamant that her daughter’s education will suffer. Both, acting on instinct to protect their children, refuse to see each other’s points of view. Gee and Noelle both join the school play and push aside the issue, resulting in the formation of a bond that will ripple through their lives into adulthood. Although an important part of the story, as the reader becomes immersed in the lives of these families, it’s clear that this conflict is only a fraction of a much bigger picture.

This novel is a stunning portrayal of the journey of life demonstrated through richly detailed characters and true to life events. The emotions I felt while reading this book were all over the place, from cheering on the characters to empathizing with their grieving.

Find What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster and other sweeping novels like it at the Sioux City Public Library.

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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