Sunday, September 28, 2008
A reviewer, A reviewer, 09/23/2008
Patrice is taken by her mother from her grandmother’s house to live elsewhere. However, when Patrice’s mom is sent to jail she ends up living with her Aunt in Chicago. She is constantly doing chores to help out her aunt and taking care of her cousins. Meanwhile at school Patrice is being picked on by her classmates, in particular by a group of boys that hangs out outside her apartment complex. That group includes a certain boy, Monty, who asks Patrice to tutor his brother. Patrice and Monty become close friends. When Patrice has the chance to attend an African American Boarding School she does not know if she can make her dream happen due to the many obstacles in her path, but she finds strength in places she never would have expected. Traci L. Jones has written a wonderful story full of imagery and beautiful metaphors. It is easy to see why she won the Coretta Scott King Award. However, it is somewhat of a Cinderella story due to the fact that Patrice finds a lot of her strength in Monty. While this by no means makes it a bad story, it is something to think about when recommending to younger readers. I would recommend this book for grades 6-8. The story is a little young for high school students. Middle school students will be able to relate to many of the things Patrice goes through at school and at home. I would also recommend reading this book in a group setting rather than alone for younger students, this way you can talk about Patrice’s relationships and delve a little deeper into the Cinderella story aspect. However, these issues do not detract from the writing and wonderful language of this book. I would definitely recommend it.
You can see this book review at