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Woodson’s account of two years in the life of three tween girls from Queens feels more like an invitation to a block party than what it could have easily become in the hands of a less skillful writer: just another didactic issues novel written for young people. It’s fascinating and funny, universal and unique. This enjoyable read breaks racial stereotypes, focusing on the importance of friends, family, and community. Highly recommended.
This tiny Newbery award winning novel covers some serious ground! It is story about friendship that follows three girls coming of age in the Bronx at time when Tupac Shakur was all over the radio. In addition to weaving an emotional story contrasting unconditional love and abandonment, Woodson’s beautiful prose gives voice to important topics like the foster care system, prisons, homosexuality, fame, and the criminal justice system all through the lens of race and the experiences of three families of color. It is a quick read, but will leave you with so much to think about.
This book is very positive and inspiring, which you might not expect in light of the subject matter. The main character experiences a double-whammy loss: right around the time that her hero Tupac dies, her close friend D moves away. But as she reflects on these losses, she realizes that she has a lot of support from her family, friends, and community. And, come what may, she still feels that the future holds hope. It's a sweet, uplifting book.
This is a great book for students ages 12 and up. This is a great story that talks about family , friendship, and the importance of a strong community. Readers will be able to relate to this because of how relevant these issues still are today. And the use of Tupac is great as well.
I do not recommend this book for children under 13, the book reflects on the lives of two best friends whom life is change by the acquisition of a new friend name D Foster. The new friend will open the girl’s eyes to a world of rap music and Tupac Shakur a rapper from the nineties. Through music, the main characters will develop a new sense of their lives and how Tupac music relates to every struggle the girls go through in their personal lives. The book has references to crime, drugs, homosexuality and other topics that the parents need to study before reading it to children. This book has many life experiences making it a really good read, but not for young children.
I really enjoyed reading this book because it presents real life situations. This is a book that I feel teens should be introduced to and be required to read. It is a good read to let teens see what it is like to live in the real world without/with experience any of the situations.
I recommend this book for reading because of the realistic feeling that readers are able to get while connecting their real life situations to it. This literature allows readers to explore life that is different from their own. Tupac was a great legend, it is said that he caused several divisions in the real world, either you liked him and his creative art or either you despised him and didn't like what he stood for. Either way this book opens minds, possibilities and explores how to deal with difficult situations compared to the real world.This book addresses several real life issues that a lot of teens can relate to such as foster care, prison, racism and homophobic issues. It's an easy read piece of literature and there is so much life in this book.
We never learn the name of the narrator, who tells how she and her best friend, Neeka, became fast friends with D Foster when they were 11 years old. "The summer before D Foster's real mama came and took her away, Tupac wasn't dead yet." The girls call themselves 'Three the Hard Way' and relate strongly to Tupac and his music. "By the time her mama came and got her and she took one last walk on out of our lives, I felt like we'd grown up and grown old and lived a hundred lives in those few years that we knew her."
Neeka appears to have a crush on D, although this interpretation relies on very subtle clues because the narrator is unaware of it. One of Neeka's older brothers, Tash, is flamboyantly gay and call himself a sister. Tash is in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Themes of intolerance and injustice are central to the story.
The main readership for this novel is probably girls in Grade 5 to 7, but this is a novel I will also recommend to older teens and adults. Anyone who enjoys a bittersweet coming-of-age story with insights into the complexities of human behaviour.