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Sincerely Sicily

SincerelySicily- Tamika Burgess

ISBN: 978-0063159600​

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 Audio Sample

2024  Américas Award For Children's Young Adult Literature – Commended Title

"Prejudice can show up anywhere; this smart, rich novel deserves to be read everywhere."

“Timely and refreshing, Burgess’s vulnerably rendered debut empathetically tackles colorism

and highlights the courage it takes to confront the hurtful words of strangers and loved ones alike.”

–Publishers Weekly⭐

"Brimming with Afro-Latina magic, Sincerely Sicily is a stunning debut from Tamika Burgess!"
Tami Charles, New York Times Bestselling Author of All Because You Matter and Like Vanessa 

"Readers will be fascinated as they accompany Sicily on her journey to understand Black Panamanian history. The more Sicily learns about her ancestors and their struggles and strengths, the more her pride and self-confidence grow. "

Hilda Eunice Burgos, author of Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle and Miosotis Flores Never Forgets

"Sincerely Sicily has it all! It is rich with contemporary middle school drama and wonder, plus, a beautiful, nuanced, and empowering discovery of Afro Panamanian culture and black girl magic estilo Latina." 

–Américas Award winning author Aida Salazar

"Sweet and full of heart, Burgess paints a beautiful portrait of race and culture that put Afro-Latinos 

in the spotlight in a way that so many readers need."

–Paula Chase, author of critically acclaimed novels So Done and Turning Point

"Burgess shines with her satisfying exploration of culture and identity...An enlightening and hopeful reflection on an individual’s power to combat our nation’s monolithic view of race and culture—one story at a time."

—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Readers will connect to the realistic situations presented in this novel, as well as the

themes pertaining to change, personal identity, and grief."


"Tween readers will relate to Sicily’s story of finding herself while navigating changes and uncertainty."

—School Library Journal



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