I picked this up at ALA and read the whole thing on the way back home. I attended the Scholastic brunch which featured Coe Booth reading aloud a selection from this. It was her reading that made me want to read this so badly, as she brought it to life wonderfully. Reading the remainder of the book to myself did not disappoint. (Apparently I’ve missed the boat on Coe Booth because I’m told her first book, Tyrell, is awesome.) This won’t be out until October 2008, so I won’t say too much about it.
Kendra is 14, the same age her mother was when her mother had her. Kendra’s mother, despite having a baby at 14, managed to finish high school and go on to Princeton University where she earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. She is fairly successful and sounds like someone to really admire. However, as we are seeing from Kendra’s perspective, her mother has never been a good mother to her, never been around, and is content to let her own mother care for Kendra. I found this whole part of the story absolutely fascinating. The other important part of the story is Kendra’s awakening sexuality and how her grandmother fears it and Kendra is not sure what to do with it (or who with). Kendra is a very likable character and you’ll find yourself rooting for her to make good choices.