Curriculum Connection Home The Skin I'm In
The Skin I'm In

The Skin I'm In
by Sharon G. Flake

THE SKIN I'M IN ©1998 by Sharon G. Flake, published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children. Cover photograph ©1998 by Mark Havriliak.

Seventh-grader Maleeka Madison is tormented by other students because of her dark skin. When Maleeka sees her new teacher, whose skin is blotched from a rare skin condition, she thinks she has finally met someone who is worse off than her. As she watches Miss Saunders refuse to accept the taunts of children, Maleeka begins to explore her response mechanisms to the cruelty of her peers. In rethinking how she defends herself, Maleeka learns that she too often judges people by their appearances. This novel explores the ways in which people's own insecurities can affect how they are treated along with how they behave. 1998, 176 pages, Grades 8-12, Hyperion

National Standards (.pdf format -35 KB - requires Acrobat Reader)
Click here to view the National Language Arts Standards that correlate with this study guide.

A Conversation with Author
Click here to read an excerpt from a live chat with Sharon G. Flake.

Prompts for Writing and Discussion
Click on each theme below to view related quotes or passages from The Skin I'm In. Questions accompany each passage that can be used for small or large group discussion, or to guide reflective writing. All page numbers refer to the First Jump at the Sun paperback edition (2000) of The Skin I'm In.

Extension Activities
Click on the activities below for ideas on ways to increase empathy using The Skin I'm In.

Additional Resources

  • In This Issue
  • Using Children's Literature to Increase Empathy and Help Students Cope with Bullying
  • Annotated Bibliography of Children's Fiction on Bullying
  • Statistics and Studies on Bullying
Discussion Guides
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (grades Pre K-1)
  • Say Something by Peggy Moss (grades 2-4)
  • Nothing Wrong with a Three-Legged Dog by Graham McNamee (grades 3-5)
  • The Revealers by Doug Wilhelm (grades 6-8)
The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake (grades 8 & up)
Extension Activities
  • Social Grouping Game
  • One Person, Many Roles
  • Being an Ally
  • Administer a Bullying Survey
  • Create an Online Forum
  • Sponsor a "Community Read"
  • Shades of Bias
  • Impressions
  • Seeing the World through Different Eyes
  • Using "Anchors" to Remain Grounded
Anti-Bias Study Guide
(Secondary Level)
Echoes and Reflections (Holocaust Curriculum)
A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute Recommended Multicultural and Anti-Bias Books for Children
A CLASSROOM OF DIFFERENCE™ Programs and Resources
The Miller Early Childhood Initiative of A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute
Braun Holocaust Institute
Confronting Anti-Semitism
ADL Online Catalog: Resources for Classroom and Community

 Words that Heal ©2005 Anti-Defamation League