Book Review – Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith

Good Morning! Here is the Monday Morning Blog!

How was your week last week? Get a chance to check in with that teen in your life?

March is Women’s History Month

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How was March designated as Women’s History Month? In 1980 President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8th as Women’s History Week. Selecting this week corresponds with International Women’s Day which falls on March 8th. It changed from being a weeklong designation to a month in 1987.  


I’ll be focusing the posts this month towards women who have done inspiring things or have made contributions to our country’s history. To kick off our theme of women this month, the book I am reviewing is a memoir of a woman who shares her coming-of-age story. Not only do we get her story growing up Black in America, but also on a relationship between a mother and a daughter.


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Selma’s Book Review

Book Title

Ordinary Light


Tracy K. Smith

Type of Book


Author Background

Tracy K. Smith is an author and a poet. She was a Poet Laureate, which is an honored achievement one must be appointed to serve. They seek to raise a greater appreciation for reading and the writing of poetry. Her memoir was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for nonfiction.

Summary of the book

Ordinary Light is a coming-of-age story about our author, Tracy K. Smith, and her relationship with her mom. The story starts with her as a young girl, the youngest of five children, and showed us how she lived a pretty good life. When her mom became sick with cancer while she was in high school, she struggles trying to relate to her mom. But through her writing, Smith was able to come to terms what she did in her life and what she missed out on.

Reaction to the book

Her memoir was very relatable for me. We have similar stories as we both grew up as teenagers in the 80s and my mom also passed away from cancer. My mom’s passing happened later in life for me, so I don’t know hard it must have been for Smith to lose her mom in her 20s, when she was just getting her feet under her as a fledgling adult.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to a young adult reader. Her story is very relatable, and she tells it from the perspective of not only dealing with the challenges of being a teenager, but also being Black in America.

Link to the author

If you want to learn more about Tracy K. Smith, follow this link to Wikipedia – Tracy K. Smith

Link to the book

If you want to purchase Ordinary Light, here is a link to do just that – Ordinary Light. Or you can pick it up from your local bookstore or shop and have the purchase credited to your favorite local independent book seller.


Another coming-of-age story


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Looking for another coming of age teen novel? Why not check out The Hard Way which you can currently purchase through the books tab on my website.

Shawn’s Way, the second book in The Way Series, will be publishing later this year. Be sure to stay tuned to the blog or my website for updates.


Have a great week!


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