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The Color of a Lie

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.

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