Date reviewed: 9/30/04 Grades 6-9 IL 12-14
Personal Reaction: I liked that this book wasn’t about racism primarily, just black characters dealing with living today. I think that the friend’s issues over her primary culture were well done. I liked how mom emphasizes that Shakita and others should take responsibility for the beauty or ugliness in their own lives. I also liked how Odd Job explained specifically how a girl should expect to be treated in a healthy relationship. Great lessons all around through scary problems. Language and slang appropriate for setting – I don’t remember any cursing. Though a sequel, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything not having read Money Hungry.
Points for discussion with children or topics for study: Homelessness, drug abuse, emotional abuse; theft, bullying/aggression; entitlement; crushes, teen relationships, friendship; self-identity; achievement
Realia: metal pipe, bandages; purse w/ money; flowers, nursery plants, or flower seeds; baseball bat; tough girl photo?
Food items connected to story: pizza; hospital tray with food; p. 54 chicken sandwich; Korean cuisine