Even though I am not African-American, I could easily put myself in Maleeka's shoes. In middle school, I was always one of the kids who followed the rules and did their best at school. During lunch time and study halls, I enjoyed reading for pleasure. This was enough to bring upon the bullying. People would say rude things to me as they passed by or throw paper on my table as I read. Although I dressed pretty similar to my peers, I was not allowed to do a lot of what my peers were able to do. I was often mocked for being "sheltered" or "babied." As I read this book, and got to know Maleeka better, I wished that I had this book to read when I was going through middle school. It would have helped me to realize that I am not the only one out there that feels ashamed of who I am and may have helped me to gain some of the confidence I needed a little sooner. Furthermore, Caleb was another influential character because he shows that no matter what you look like, as long as you are a good person, there will always be someone who cares about you.