Begging for Change by Sharon Flake

Date reviewed: 9/30/04                           Grades 6-9           IL 12-14

Author’s website for summary

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

Connections to other books? Money Hungry or The Skin I’m In by Flake; Junebug by Mead for younger readers

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

By moviesofthemind Posted in AA, drama Tagged , , ,

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