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Jones, Traci L.
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011
IL 5-8, RL 5.7
ISBN 0374369143

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
·        A realistic fiction book that will tug on your heartstrings!

·        Story of a 7th grade African American girl, Serena;

·        Before the book begins, Serena’s mother has been killed unexpectedly in an automobile accident.  Serena’s father has always suffered from depression, but after the death of his wife, he goes into a really deep depression, never even getting out of bed.

·        Serena is left to manage the household, including her younger brother.  She does all of the cooking and cleaning and laundry and cares for her baby brother, as well as trying to care for her depressed father.

·        She has a beautiful voice and loves to sings. She is a struggling student AND gets the singing lead in the school play.  AND she herself is still grieving from the death of her mother.

Serena is OVERWHELMED.  The reader wonders if Serena will ever get some help?  Will she ever get to just be a child again?

·        This book is written so realistically – the reader FEELS the burden of Serena’s responsibilities. You will want her to overcome and succeed.

·        Sad – you will shed a tear.

·        Nice to have a well-written book with an African American girl on the cover and as the main character; book will appeal to all girls.  (Booktalk by Barbara Benton for 2014 Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice nominee)

SUBJECTS:     Family problems -- Fiction.
                        Depression, Mental -- Fiction.
                        Grief -- Fiction.
                        Theater -- Fiction.
                        Middle schools -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        African Americans -- Fiction.

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