by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Category: Multicultural with Urban Emphasis
Personal Evaluation: I found myself rooting for Jolly and LaVaughn to work together to raise Jolly’s kids. I like the ultimate hopeful tone of the book and I liked that LaVaughn’s mother came around to approve of the impact LaVaughn was having on Jolly, though it is understandable that her first instinct is to care more about Jolly’s effect on LaVaughn.
What might interest children: Both girls face adversity in their goals and learn to lean on each other and others for support. LaVaughn has a lot trying to come between her and her goal of going to college, but she keeps her goal firmly in mind – and it is her goal first, not her mother’s – and makes good choices. It may not be realistic for kids in extreme poverty, but for kids who don’t face quite as many challenges as LaVaughn, it may be really inspiring.