Calling My Name

Children's Book and Media Review, Dec 2018

Taja is a young girl growing into herself. This story chronicles the thoughts and feelings of the middle schooler as she contemplates themes of love, religion, education, and friendship up until her high school years and acceptance to university. The author’s final acknowledgement at the end of the book effectively summarizes the heartfelt theme, “And to every young person who’s ever struggled with departing from your family’s or community’s teachings: it’s OKAY to follow the voice inside.” Indeed, Taja’s raw exploration of God and sin model a form of questioning and discovery that validate the very natural questions common to humanity. They call her name.

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Calling My Name

Calling My Name Bailey Ondricek Follow this and additional works at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cbmr BYU ScholarsArchive Citation Author Liara Tamani Illustrator Reviewer Bailey Ondricek Rating Outstanding Level Young Adult Publisher Greenwillow Books ISBN 9780062656865 Book Review Calling My Name Taja is a young girl growing into herself. This story chronicles the thoughts and feelings of the middle schooler as she contemplates themes of love, religion, education, and friendship up until her high school years and acceptance to university. The author’s final acknowledgement at the end of the book effectively summarizes the heartfelt theme, “And to every young person who’s ever struggled with departing from your family’s or community’s teachings: it’s OKAY to follow the voice inside.” Indeed, Taja’s raw exploration of God and sin model a form of questioning and discovery that validate the very natural questions common to humanity. They call her name. This standard-sized chapter book has a beautiful jacket with a picture of Taja surrounded by winding vines. The vines are mimicked on the first page of each of the short chapters, only a few pages a piece, and roses with a meaningful quote mark a new section of the book and a new phase of Taja’s life. The thoughtful construction is well-matched to the content of the story. The ebb and flow of Liara’s words have this beautiful hypnotic rhythm that persuade to read on. It’s difficult at times to see where the story ends and the reader begins with such submersive details that the reader can almost smell the battling scents of mama, bacon, and lip gloss during weekend breakfast. An extremely well-written book, Calling My Name is impossible to put down. The pages flip quickly as Taja’s stream of consciousness nearly matches the reader’s own. Taja’s character is relatable and inspirational, and her dreams of becoming a writer and attending the top schools make her a wonderful, imperfect heroine. *Contains moderate language and severe sexual content.


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Bailey Ondricek. Calling My Name, Children's Book and Media Review, 2018,