Author: Broaddus, Maurice
A young graffiti artist learns to fight smart against the gentrification threatening her neighborhood.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/01/22)
School Library Journal (+) (05/01/22)
Booklist (+) (02/15/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2022 *Starred Review* Ever since her father left and her mom was committed to an institution for her schizophrenia, eighth-grader Isabella Fades has been on her own, unhoused in her neighborhood of the Land. So when school lets out, leaving her without the predictability of a daily schedule, Bella relies on the work of her not-so-secret tagger lifestyle—under the name Unfadeable—to keep her busy. Seeing the potential in her art, mentor and friend Ms. Campbell encourages Bella to channel her work in a more organized way by starting a summer arts program for youth. But, after a hard rejection and a little bit of digging, Bella finds that something’s off when it comes to the community’s finances. Reluctantly, Bella teams up with an unlikely crew, and, together, they fight the misuse of the Land’s resources. In this timely story of place and displacement, Bella’s gritty and steadfast nature will resonate with young people determined to see their ideas to fruition. Equal parts action and mystery with a heavy yet middle-grade friendly nod to 2000s street lit, Broaddus’ novel will leave readers rooting for Bella and hoping she puts her pride aside in exchange for her brilliant problem-solving skills. Coupled with a vivid depiction of Indianapolis’ overlooked splendor, this heart-wrenching story of friendship, family, and belonging is a perfect read for the middle-grader looking for action and attitude with a considerable dose of do-good. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
Booklist - 02/15/2022 - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2022 Gr 4–7—Broaddus has created an unforgettable protagonist in this novel that deals with creating community and fighting back against injustice. Bella "Unfadeable" Fades doesn't need anybody's help. The 13-year-old, known for her graffiti, plans to spend summer break laying low and avoiding anyone who might alert the authorities that she's living on her own. But laying low becomes impossible when she finds out people in high places are taking money from her beloved Indianapolis neighborhood, the Land. Bella will have to work with unlikely allies and trust her neighbors in order to make sure they all get the beautiful neighborhood they deserve. Readers will find Bella relatable and funny. The plot is fast-paced and twisty enough to keep kids engaged. Broaddus deftly weaves in in-depth discussions of a variety of topics, from anti-Black racism to gentrification to homelessness. The story emphasizes the power of young people's voices and the importance of civic responsibility. Bella's mother has schizophrenia, which is mostly handled with care. Most characters are Black; Bella is biracial (her dad is white, and her mom is Black). VERDICT A must-buy for elementary and middle school collections. Sure to be popular with readers who enjoy books by Kelly Yang, Jason Reynolds, and Chrystal D. Giles.—Ness Shortley - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.