Stephen wears a wrist band that says “What lane?” the mantra of one of his favorite basketball players.
This is the question that middle schooler Stephen is trying to navigate through this short novel. As his friend groups begin to change Stephen struggles with figuring out if he, as a biracial kid, can do the same things as his white friends.
Stephen moves from lane to lane as he tries to figure out where he belongs.
And the sticky note says
In an interview or panel I saw with Torrey Maldonado, he said that he writes short books on purpose – some readers are intimidated by longer works. What Lane? is clearly an issue novel that packs so much: colorism, racism, what it means to be biracial in the United. States — into 125 pages. It’s also a novel about finding the right “lane” and learning how these lanes can sometimes overlap, broadening horizons.
Older readers will find the novel to be didactic, but I think it’s a good entry point for talking about race and racism with younger readers.