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The day Khadija discovered her ‘real’ father, she began dreaming of the day she could escape her religious mother, strict household and life in poverty. In her mind, her father lived the good life. He spoiled her over the summers and adorned her with more love than her mother ever could. But when at the age of 13, she moves to East Cleveland, her father couldn’t have prepared for the rage of his broken child.

As their relationship strained, she finds herself alone, suicidal and searching for that missing piece. She soon finds it. Like a guardian angel, someone steps in to teach her how to maneuver life and instills within her a mindset to do whatever it takes to succeed. However, it comes at a devastating price.

Unable to find the root of her pain and while struggling as a teen mom, she further blames her mother, father and anyone in her turbulent path.

She writes:

Dear mom,

I hated wearing old- fashioned dresses every day.

Standing out

Being called “White” girl because I spoke too proper for the black kids, too poor to fit in with the cool kids.

And then when I finally built up the courage to tell you:

Mom, I’m hurting. Mom, They won’t leave me alone.

You said to me, Turn the other cheek.

I hated going to church everyday

Watching you write checks for tithes, offering, love offering and the building fund

Yet, when we got home and I needed money for a field trip, or a new outfit

You said to me, We just don’t have it.

I hate being poor. I hated living with you.

I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.

Until the phone rings, and the voice says,


Dear Mom, I HATE YOU is an intimate and true story of what it’s really like growing up as a young girl during puberty. It’s an inspirational and empowering story about the struggles of finding your true self, authentic voice, yet blazing through your own paths despite your history.


This is a new kind of memoir that sheds light on issues teens and young adults deal with everyday, yet it reminds us parents just how hard and difficult it was growing up ourselves. I also love how it enlightens teens of the struggles of being a parent. By the time we realize how much our parents loved and sacrificed for us, for some of us, it’s too late. - Dana Henderson

This will definitely be one of the best biographies a teen can read and definitely for parents who are parenting teens in today’s world of confusion. - Darlene Washington (Parent of two teens)

A great mother, daughter book club selection and read for a mother struggling to reach her daughter, especially during puberty. Best memoir for women who have forgotten what it was like growing up and our mindset at 13 years old, 14 years old and even into our young adult years. - Rachel Styne

A great staple for African American women and teens. Love how real and intense the emotions are. Great storytelling. Just a great read all together. - Courtney Willams

Khadija Grant, the author of THE INFLUENCED, is mother of three girls and has made an impact on youth around the world through her storytelling. She is passionate about telling raw stories and painting vivid pictures that grabs the reader and places them in the experience. She believes if children and teens can see themselves in literature, they can be inspired to be proud of who they are and bold enough to become whoever they want in life.