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About Me
Beginning her writing career while working in public relations, Sharon G. Flake has become noted for her novels geared for African-American teens, particularly teen girls. In The Skin I'm In, thirteen-year-old Maleeka Madison is a bright student who is taunted for her excellent grades, her dark complexion, and the fact that her clothes are handmade rather than in-fashion clothes from the mall. Although Maleeka tries to fit in by hanging out with Charlese, the toughest girl in the school, the teen's life changes after Ms. Saunders becomes her new English teacher. Although Maleeka at first joins in the taunts that are directed toward the woman, whose face is disfigured by a large birthmark, she rethinks her actions when Ms. Saunders publicly praises Maleeka's writing and encourages the girl to enter a writing contest. Booklist reviewer Hazel Rochman noted that Flake's "characters are complex," while a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that "those identifying with the heroine's struggle to feel comfortable inside the skin she's in will find inspiration here."
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