Mark My Words is a face paced read which shines a strong light on social inequality within the privileged grammar school. Previously there were two schools in Enley – Minerva (the privileged private grammer school) and Bodley (the more racially diverse public school). Bodley is located in a more run-down part of town. When the two schools begin to be merged, the differences between the two groups becomes very very obvious.
One of the students from Bodley is Dua. Dua has big dreams of becoming a journalist. She applies to write for the Minerva paper and is publicly rejected. After being rejected, she decides to form a newspaper that will give a voice to those who feel voiceless. This newspaper brings a group closer together while also putting a microscope on the idea of the have and have not. There is alot of prejudice within the wealthy walls of Minerva. As Dua continues to dig deeper into to the foundation of the school, she discovers a drug trafficking issue that goes right to the core of the real issues within the town.
Dua is a character that has a good heart but doesn’t always think before she acts. It is because of this that she makes alot of questionable decisions. I couldn’t help but root for her as she fought for a voice and for social justice. I loved her confidence even if some of it was just a bunch of bluster. She believes in herself and actually grows and learns from her experiences. When she apologizes for her mistakes you can tell she actually means it.
There is alot of emotion within these pages. The issues that are brought up are so much more than skin deep. There are strong friendships and cultural challenges. While the book moves right along, the discussions of these challenges never feel rushed. I was captivates by the mystery of the drug trafficking but had a strong feeling that everything was going to wind up being very interconnected.
I think Mark My Words will be a wonderful book club pick. It would also be good in a higher level English course be it high school or college. There is so much that can be examined including prejudices, racial inequality, violence, and privileges. The voices of the teenagers feel real and are in no way caricatures. They feel like people who you maybe cross the street with, have class with, or randomly strike up a conversation. This book helps give a voice to the unseen and that is the most powerful thing it can do.
Rating: 4 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**