Wednesday, May 25, 2022


Booth, Coe. Caprice
May 17th 2022 by Scholastic Inc.
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

*Some spoilers, but they are in the book description as well. *

Caprice has spent seven weeks at a leadership camp on the campus of the elite Ainsley International School. She enjoyed it, but is a bit homesick for her Newark neighborhoodand best friend Nicole. When she is offered a full tuition scholarship to the school starting in a few weeks, her parents are thrilled. It's a great opportunity, and the family has been struggling since the family security business hasn't done well recently, and the father has to travel and work away from home a lot. While she is home trying to decide, her mother recieves news that her own mother is gravely ill and needs help. Unfortunately, the two have been estranged ever since an episode when Caprice's father was in the military and she and her mother werestaying with her grandmother and uncle in Baltimore. Four-year-old Caprice ran away and was missing for some hours, and the grandmother kicked the two out. We find out that there is more to this story; Caprice's uncle was sexually abusing her. This has left Caprice with some PTSD, which manifests itself in ways that those around her don't understand, since she has never told anyone about the abuse. She can't decide whether or not to attend the school, but spends some time at home at the neighborhood recreation center, working to establish a club for girls and doing other positive things for the area. When she and her mother have to travel to Baltimore to deal with the grandmother, her past becomes all too present, and she finally has to face and deal with the issues from her past in order to go forward in her life. 
Strengths: First of all, I love the cover! The colors are great, and look closely for the silhouette of Caprice's four-year-old self in her eyes. The pull between a posh academic experience and her comfortable home life made for a lot of tension, especially when there was a budding romance for Caprice at home thrown in. The family's financial problems are realistic and dealt with well. Nicole was a fantastically supportive friend, and I appreciated that she told her mother what Caprice had shared about her past in order to get her friend the help she needed. There is more detail about the abuse than there are in some books (talk of clothing being removed and touching occurring), although there are no graphic details. This is a delicate balance, but I appreciate it when children with some knowledge will know what occurred, but children without that knowledge won't find out anything they don't know. (If that makes sense.) The adults are supportive, ask questions, and act appropriately when details are revealed. Booth has tackeled other tough issues, and does so in a timely and helpful way. 
Weaknesses: I had some trouble with the time line for some reason. Camp was almost the whole summer, so the book must have taken place during about three weeks, but those three weeks were really packed for Caprice. I would have thought the school would have needed an answer sooner, but maybe it just had space for a new student and didn't need to rush her.
What I really think: This is a good book to add to other titles that address issues of abuse, like Carter's How to Be a Girl in the World (2020),  Bradley's Fighting Words (2020), Messner's Chirp (2020) Chase's So Done (2018).

Ms. Yingling

No comments:

Post a Comment