From the Desk of Zoe Washington meets Lupe Wong Won't Dance in Sincerely Sicily, a debut middle grade by Tamika Burgess that follows Sicily Jordan as she learns to use her voice and find joy in who she is—a Black Panamanian fashionista who rocks her braids with pride—while confronting prejudice both in the classroom and at home.
Sicily Jordan’s worst nightmare has come true! She’s been enrolled in a new school, with zero of her friends and stuck wearing a fashion catastrophe of a uniform. But however bad Sicily thought sixth grade was going to be, it only gets worse when she does her class presentation.
While all her classmates breezed through theirs, Sicily is bombarded with questions on how she can be both Black and Panamanian. She wants people to understand, but it doesn’t feel like anyone is ready to listen—first at school and then at home. Because when her abuela starts talking mess about her braids, Sicily’s the only one whose heart is being crumpled for a second time.
Staying quiet may no longer be an option, but that doesn’t mean Sicily has the words to show the world just what it means to be a proud Black Panamanian either. Even though she hasn’t written in her journal since her abuelo passed, it’s time to pick up her pen again—but will it be enough to prove to herself and everyone else exactly who she is?
Sincerely Sicily is a captivating and empowering story about learning to use your voice and taking pride in who you are, from debut author Tamika Burgess.