About a Girl

McCarry, Sarah. About a Girl. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015.

Close-up of two White girls kissing, with vines overlayed.

Tally is a multiracial girl who wants to be an astronomer. She is extremely gifted and has excelled in school. She has three adoptive parents who dote on her and provide her with everything they possibly can. Still, she wonders about her parentage. When she discovers that her mother was friends with a mysterious musician in the Puget Sound, she takes a journey to learn more about her past, and in doing so, meets a beautiful woman who changes her life.

About a Girl has an extraordinary protagonist. Tally is so bright and her voice is smart, logical, and full of yearning. She has enormous trust in her family and I really appreciated their love for each other and how they communicated and treated one another. Tally takes many risks for growth, and I enjoyed seeing her character develop. Her romance is sexy, heady, and full of confusion and heartache, just like many first loves. What didn’t work so well for me was the weaving in of Greek mythology elements; Tally is based on Atalanta, and her lover is based on Medea. Although there is light magical realism throughout the text, the end feels like full mythology in a way that seems choppy to me.

I think this book is fantastic representation for brown girls in science, and I recommend it for all public libraries. I only wish the cover art actually depicted Tally and not two white girls kissing.

About a Girl received a starred Kirkus review.

Content notes: There are several sex scenes that are frank and honest without being graphic. In addition, About a Girl is the third in a series of novels paralleling Greek myths; however, they do not need to be read in order.

About Charlie McNabb

Archivist, Folklorist, and Legend Tripper
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