Parents' Guide to

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Sweet tale of biracial girl in search of lost family.

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THE BLOSSOMING UNIVERSE OF VIOLET DIAMOND offers appealing characters and an interesting exploration of quests for self-discovery. Some plot devices seem a bit too convenient (for example, Violet's long-estranged grandmother suddenly has a change of heart), but Violet's narrative voice is hard to resist, and author Brenda Hughes describes the sights and sounds of Southern California with the affectionate knowledge of a true local. The book's predominant message is one of love, friendship, and family ties, but along the way it delves into some subjects that may spark some discussion, from religion and prayer to the whole issue of "race" and what definition of yourself you're willing to settle for.

"Human race comes in many colors. This word 'biracial' is silly talk," says the Greek grandmother of Violet's BFF. But Violet's black grandmother says, "In a perfect world, we are all flesh and blood, the same species, one race, the human race. But this isn't a perfect world and most people insist on holding on to the many-race concept. ... [I]n the eyes of most, even though you have a white mother, you are considered to be black."

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