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Publisher's Summary

Mishna Wolff grew up in a poor black neighborhood with her single father, a white man who truly believed he was black. "He strutted around with a short perm, a Cosby-esque sweater, gold chains and a Kangol - telling jokes like Redd Fox, and giving advice like Jesse Jackson. You couldn't tell my father he was white. Believe me, I tried," writes Wolff. And so from early childhood on, her father began his crusade to make his white daughter "down".

Unfortunately, Mishna didn't quite fit in with the neighborhood kids: she couldn't dance, she couldn't sing, she couldn't double dutch, and she was the worst player on her all-black basketball team. She was shy, uncool, and painfully white. And yet when she was suddenly sent to a rich white school, she found she was too "black" to fit in with her white classmates.

I'm Down is a hip, hysterical, and at the same time beautiful memoir that will have you howling with laughter, recommending it to friends and questioning what it means to be black and white in America.

©2009 Mishna Wolff (P)2009 Tantor

Critic Reviews

" Down certainly has serious thoughts on its mind...but the tone manages to be light and triumphant because of the hilarious child-goggles Wolff wears while spinning her tales." ( Entertainment Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining . . . and more

Engaging and funny! Then it took a few turns and became a poignant coming of age story. Overall, excellent and unique. I want to hear more from Wolff.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Casey
  • Sunnyside, NY, United States
  • 11-07-09

I stopped listening an hour in....

Why did the publishers let the author read her own book??? I have never listened to a more bored sounding narrator--and it's her own life that she sounds bored recounting! The stories in the first hour would not be interesting on paper, let alone coming from a monotone narrator.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

great listen...

i found the character development was slow but overall, the book was very honest and humorous. The author has a great way of being candid throughout the book. She narrated it as well which I found refreshing...each character's personality and depiction was exactly as she wanted it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I Really Am Down With This Book!

No words, but I'll try. I laughed, cried, and was simply amazed at the story telling ability of Mishna Wolff. I was reminded of my childhood in so many ways. I never wanted the book to end, and even looked for a sequel, but no luck. Mishna managed to turn what could have been a dreary story of growing up in a racially confused home into a wonderfully bright memoir. Her white dad, who is believes on some level he is black, is such an interesting character. I forgot the name of the woman he married, but she was so well drawn out, that I feel like I know her. Mishna, herself, is quite a strong personality and manages in some miraculous way to get her needs met. I was also raised in a mixed family, so I could relate in so many ways. I can't recommend this book enough!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great good, a good audiobook

I found the book kept my attention and was rewarding. I found some small challenges to what I would enjoy in a book (spoiler alert) there was some fighting that I did not think added to my enjoyment of the book.

Overall, very satisfied.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good

It was a very odd buyt great book and the ending was a mike drop it was awesome

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent memoir

Mishna grew up in an all white family, as she is. For some reason, her dad was convinced he was black, and chose to raise his family the same way. While Mishna's little sister was able to adjust, the rest of the family wasn't.
A very humorous glimpse inside a family who chose to be different and how each person handled those differences.
A very nicely done memoir.

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Wow

In light of the whole Rachel Dolezal debacle, someone suggested I listen to this book. I laughed a lot but for much of the book I was very, very angry. Some people should never ever EVER BE ALLOWED THE PRIVILEGE OF RAISING KIDS. I vacillated to wanting to pumps lap her birth patents and her stepmother. So very damaged and what she went through is heartbreaking. Glad she seemed to make it out and at least get a New York Times Best Seller out of it.

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At times funny / at times sad

Would you consider the audio edition of I'm Down to be better than the print version?

Not having read the print version, I can't say.

What other book might you compare I'm Down to and why?

Maybe the Glass Castle?

Which scene was your favorite?

The book is composed of lots of short scenes. Any scene with her father in it was tense and interesting.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The whole book was moving. It is funny at times and at times gut wrenching. Some of the one liners are very amusing.

Any additional comments?

The power of this book is it's honesty.