My Life As A Chameleon
Review: Lauren O’Connor-May
This is a coming of age story that breaks the mould.
Lily is a mixed-race girl who feels always on the edge of everyone’s affections.
She is a laatlammetjie to a Nigerian father and an Irish mother.
Her father is always distant and her mom too busy. Her siblings are much older and have a closeness that she cannot penetrate.
She starts seeking affections in friendships but here too finds herself coming up short.
She never fits in because she is either too Nigerian or not Nigerian enough, too white or not white enough, too clever or not clever enough, too wealthy or not wealthy enough, so she escapes into her imagination and starts to adapt herself to her surroundings but the constant adaptation leaves her wondering who she really is.
This is not a light-hearted book but teens and pre-teens may relate to Lily’s desperation to fit in. The book’s stark depictions of racism is good food for thought.