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Publisher's Summary

George M. Johnson, activist and best-selling author of All Boys Aren't Blue, returns with a striking memoir that celebrates Black boyhood and brotherhood in all its glory.

This is the vibrant story of George, Garrett, Rall, and Rasul - four children raised by Nanny, their fiercely devoted grandmother. The boys hold one another close through early brushes with racism, memorable experiences at the family barbershop, and first loves and losses. And with Nanny at their center, they are never broken.

George M. Johnson capture the unique experience of growing up as a Black boy in America, and their rich family stories - exploring themes of vulnerability, sacrifice, and culture - are interspersed with touching letters from the grandchildren to their beloved matriarch. By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this personal account is destined to become a modern classic of emerging adulthood.

©2021 George M. Johnson (P)2021 Little, Brown Young Readers

Critic Reviews

"A deeply impactful account of intergenerational love that reveals the power of accepting young people exactly as they are while encouraging them to be ever more themselves. George Matthew Johnson has done it again!" (Nic Stone, New York Times best-selling author of Dear Martin)

"George M. Johnson has done it again - they have written a beautiful book that will take up a honey-sweet and sun-warmed residence in my soul for a long time to come. We Are Not Broken is a gorgeous love letter to Black matriarchs who give everything to love, care for and protect their children. It’s about the importance of family and the unbreakable bonds that supersede blood and last far longer than a lifetime. While society constantly vilifies Black boys before they can even reach puberty, We Are Not Broken shares stories about how love, care, and the freedom to be soft and vulnerable can be not only healing, but life-changing." (Aiden Thomas, New York Times best-selling author of Cemetery Boys)

We Are Not Broken feels like a long conversation, like those that spill into the early morning. It is intimate. Revelatory. Powerful. George M. Johnson centers Nanny in this memoir, charting the importance she played not only in their life, but in the life of a sprawling, loving, and deeply complex family. Seen through their eyes (and some deeply touching letters from others), it’s the story of a brilliant Black woman and the invaluable lessons she taught all those who knew her. A must-read journey." (Mark Oshiro, award-winning author of Anger Is a Gift)

What listeners say about We Are Not Broken

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A Love Letter To Nanny

This book is dedicated to the memory of the author’s grandmother. I enjoyed hearing about how deeply she loved her family. The letters that the grandchildren wrote to their grandmother were a nice touch. This book is a really sweet tribute.

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Nannyisms

Great narration, stories remind me of growing up with two older brothers and having a close knit family. Great memories and great Nannyisms. Thank you for sharing your families lineage through your words and descriptive imagery.

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Feeling Seen

These words and stories have helped me feel like my growing up Black and Queer wasn’t done in a cylinder. I feel so seen and in a way, validated.