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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods

The Blossoming Universe of Violet DiamondViolet Diamond is eleven years old, has a good family and friends, but something is missing in her life. Violet's dad was killed in an automobile accident when her mom was pregnant with her. Violet's mom is white and her dad was black, so Violet is biracial. Roxanne Diamond is a famous artist and is also the grandmother Violet has never met. When Violet learns that her grandmother is having an art showing in nearby Seattle, she asks her mother to take her there to meet her. Time has healed the wounds of losing her only son and Diamond wants to begin a relationship with Violet. Violet goes to spend some time with her grandmother, who she affectionately calls "Bibi," the Swahili name for grandmother. Diamond meets all of her father's side of the family and begins to feel like has found the missing pieces in her life when something big happens to Bibi. There is this part in the book where Violet is by her Greek friend, Athena's house. Athena's grandmother, Mrs. Matsoukis is visiting because her mom just gave birth to her brother. The girls start talking about Violet being biracial. Mrs. Matsoukis asks what it means. Athena tells her, "It means she's two races...half black race and half white race." Athena's grandmother counters by saying, " Aren't we all human race, Violet?...Of course we are. Human races comes in many colors. This word 'biracial'is silly talk." I loved these words. As a society there is still some tension between races and Violet gets it from both sides. Mrs. Matsoukis' words we should all live by.

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