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“Reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.” —The New York Times

“One of the best books I have ever read…will live in the hearts of readers for the rest of their lives.” —Colby Sharp, founder of Nerdy Book Club

“An emotional, painful, yet still hopeful adolescent journey…one that needed telling.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“I really loved this.” —Sharon M. Draper, author of the New York Times bestseller Out of My Mind

This deeply sensitive and “compelling” (BCCB) debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.

There are ninety-six reasons why thirteen-year-old Genesis dislikes herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list:
-Because her family is always being put out of their house.
-Because her dad has a gambling problem. And maybe a drinking problem too.
-Because Genesis knows this is all her fault.
-Because she wasn’t born looking like Mama.
-Because she is too black.

Genesis is determined to fix her family, and she’s willing to try anything to do so…even if it means harming herself in the process. But when Genesis starts to find a thing or two she actually likes about herself, she discovers that changing her own attitude is the first step in helping change others.

Alicia D. Williams is the author of Genesis Begins Again, which received a Newbery and Kirkus Prize honors, was a William C. Morris Award finalist, and for which she won the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent. A graduate of the MFA program at Hamline University, and an oral storyteller in the African American tradition, she is also a teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Alicia D. Williams is the author of Genesis Begins Again, which received a Newbery and Kirkus Prize honors, was a William C. Morris Award finalist, and for which she won the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent. A graduate of the MFA program at Hamline University, and an oral storyteller in the African American tradition, she is also a teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Author Alicia D. Williams brings authenticity and heart to the narration of her debut audiobook. Life has been hard for 13-year-old Genesis Anderson. Her alcoholic, gambling father never pays the rent, and the family lives with continual evictions and constant uncertainty. Her mother is a beautiful light-skinned black woman, but Genesis herself is dark, and she feels unbearably ugly in comparison. Williams sensitively portrays Genesis's deep hurt and self-harming behavior as she undergoes risky treatments to lighten her skin and soften her hair in the hope that she will someday be beautiful. As the story continues, listeners will feel her agony as she dares to see herself differently, tentatively standing up for herself and believing in her own worth. A powerful listening experience is enhanced by Williams's fluid performance."

– AudioFile Magazine

  • ALA Newbery Honor Book
  • ILA Teachers' Choices
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award Master List
  • CBC/NCSS Notable Children's Book in Social Studies
  • Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee
  • Maine Student Book Award Reading List
  • Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
  • Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award Master List (IL)
  • Georgia Children's Book Award Finalist
  • Truman Reader Award Final Nominee (MO)
  • ALA Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent Award
  • YouPer Award (MI)
  • ALA/William C. Morris Award Finalist
  • Intermediate Sequoyah Book Award Master List (OK)
  • Just One More Page Recommendation List
  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Top Pick
  • NYPL Best Books for Kids (Top Ten)
  • YouPer Award Top Ten Title
  • South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee
  • Rhode Island Middle School Book Award Nominee
  • ALA/YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults List
  • ALA/YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

More books from this author: Alicia D. Williams