Thursday, April 02, 2009

Cashay and Paparazzi Princess

Margaret McMullan's Cashay was a nice antithesis to yesterday's If I Grow Up because it did have a message of hope. Cashay's family has created a decent life in inner city Chicago. Her mother is a hair dresser, and she and her sister, although learning disabled, attend school regularly. Everything changes when her sister is an innocent victim of a gang-related shooting. Her mother starts abusing drugs and becomes pregnant by her boyfriend, "Mr. Giggles". Cashay keeps attending school and talking to a caring conselour, who recommends an after school program where Cashay is matched with a mentor, but when her mother gives birth to a drug addicted baby and is sent to prison rehab, Cashay focuses all of her energy on avoiding children's services and remaining on her own. Eventually, the adults in her life track her down and try to help. Where If I Grow Up erred on the side of the overly depressing, this may err slightly on the side of the overly optimistic, but that is a far better message. This will do well to fill the need my students have to read about difficult lives in the inner city.

Must admit that I didn't really want to read the fourth Jen Calonita book. I liked the first three, but have lately grown tired of reading about the overpriveleged and all of their designer wear. I was quickly won over by Kaitlin, the down-to-earth star of a soap opera television show who is devastated by her show going off the air. She doesn't cope well, making friends with celebutantes, shopping too much, and not focusing on her career options for the future. In the end, I enjoyed the book, although the pop culture references will make this date very quickly. The copies will be worn out by then, so it will all be okay.


Bookworm said...

Ahhh! Paparazzi Princess, i am so excited to begin! Jen Calonita rocks!

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