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The Color of a Lie (Hardcover)

The Color of a Lie By Kim Johnson Cover Image
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2 on hand, as of Jul 13 8:35pm


In 1955, a Black family passes for white and moves to a “Whites Only” town in the suburbs. Caught between two worlds, a teen boy puts his family at risk as he uncovers racist secrets about his suburb. A new social justice thriller from the acclaimed author of This Is My America!

Calvin knows how to pass for white. He's done it plenty of times before. For his friends in Chicago, when they wanted food but weren't allowed in a restaurant. For work, when he and his dad would travel for the Green Book.

This is different.

After a tragedy in Chicago forces the family to flee, they resettle in an idyllic all-white suburban town in search of a better life. Calvin's father wants everyone to embrace their new white lifestyles, but it's easier said than done. Hiding your true self is exhausting -- which leads Calvin across town where he can make friends who know all of him...and spend more time with his new crush, Lily. But when Calvin starts unraveling dark secrets about the white town and its inhabitants, passing starts to feel even more suffocating--and dangerous--than he could have imagined. 

Expertly weaving together real historical events with important reflections on being Black in America, acclaimed author Kim Johnson powerfully connects readers to the experience of being forced to live a life-threatening lie or embrace an equally deadly truth.

About the Author

Kim Johnson held leadership positions in social justice organizations as a teen and in college, and is now an author and educator. Kim's bestselling novel, This Is My America, won numerous accolades, including the Pacific Northwest Book Award and Malka Penn Human Rights Award for Children's Literature. Her second novel, Invisible Son, is another thriller ripped from the headlines. Both novels were selected as NPR Best Books. The Color of a Lie is her first historical thriller.

She holds degrees from the University of Oregon, University of Maryland, College Park, and an MFA from Oregon State University Cascades. She lives with her family in the Washington DC area. Find her at KCJOHNSONWRITES.COM and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kcjohnsonwrites.

Praise For…

★ "A highly effective story of a young man’s journey in a time simmering with racial change and resistance." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ "[A] searing work. Through Calvin’s perceptive and sincere first-person narration, Johnson examines the complexities of passing privilege and highlights the extreme lengths that those in power will go to uphold white supremacy. " —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "A historical novel that is captivating, edifying, and gracefully expressed." —Shelf Awareness, starred review

"This is a solid portrait of a shameful time in U.S. history as well as a dynamic narrative portraying the impacts on everyday people." —Booklist

"This title deserves to reside alongside other books that invoke open discussions of race and social justice, but it also calls for the attention of anyone who recognizes the absurdity of punishment simply for existing as they are." —The Bulletin

"Tension is evident from the beginning to the frenetic end of this page-turning novel, which weaves historical events into the narrative." —The Horn Book

"Meticulously researched and expertly crafted, The Color of a Lie overflows with rage and courage. Johnson effortlessly balances the immense weight of secrets and bloody history in a story that still sings with love and hope. This should be required reading." —Jas Hammonds, award-winning author of We Deserve Monuments
"Heart-pounding. Gut-wrenching. A fast-paced historical thriller both grappling with the horror of segregated America and celebrating the bravery of everyday citizens fighting for a better world–an absolute must for every bookshelf." —Andrew Joseph White, New York Times Bestselling and award-winning Author of The Spirit Bares Its Teeth and Hell Followed With Us
"Kim Johnson’s THE COLOR OF A LIE is the triumphant story of one young man’s longing to unleash his true self in a world that refuses to see beyond the color of his skin. This book is an indictment of our past, a caution for our present, and the hope for the shared humanity of our American future." —Sharon Cameron, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of The Light in Hidden Places
"History comes alive in this unforgettable novel about one young man's quest to forge his own identity in the face of prejudice and terror. Like all great books about white passing, THE COLOR OF A LIE holds a canny mirror to America's past--and reflects a searing, enduring truth." —Kelly McWilliams, author of MIRROR GIRLS

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593118801
ISBN-10: 0593118804
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English

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