Do you know who you are? Not what you look like on the outside, but who you are on the inside, the person you can always be with your best friend, real and honest, completely and totally you?

It’s not easy, being true to yourself. People may not understand why you do or say what you do. You could be called a criminal or a heroine, like Liz was. Liz couldn't take listening to what her sister's husband was doing to Sis, or seeing the bruises that he made. So she did what she had to do, and now she’s learning to cope with the results.

Monica’s mother broke a promise to her, not for any good reason, but because she wanted free babysitting that summer. So Monica staged a one-person protest in the front yard, where everyone could see. “Keep your promise, or I’ll stay here forever!” And she did!

Bebe wants to build bridges, to be an engineer, even though she knows that it won’t be easy. As her grandmother says, there aren’t a lot of black women engineers. But Bebe is determined to make her dream into a reality, starting that very summer!

Girls who stay true to the best part of themselves, who do what they have to do, who reach for their dreams and never give up. Strong girls, powerful girls. Let their stories help you find your own power, your own strength.

Being true to yourself is seldom easy, but as the girls in these stories discover, knowing you own your own strength and power can make all the difference.

This booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart.