The afternoon D Foster roams onto the narrator’s street in Queens, the two girls and the narrator’s best friend Neeka start up a tight friendship. It lasts through the shooting of their idol Tupac, through visiting Neeka’s brother in jail, as all three girls turn thirteen… and then D’s real mom comes to get her and she walks back out of their lives again.
I could probably read Jacqueline Woodson’s shopping list and it would make me sniffly. The touching pathos of the pasta and toilet paper! Seriously, every one of her slim little books is a gem. Nothing much happens here, and yet everything happens. The language is lyrical and entirely authentic to the characters.
I do wonder, though, what kids think? This book uses non-linear storytelling, an ambiguous not-entirely-happy ending… things I love, but which my students always complain about. If you know kids who love this book or any of her others, I’d love to hear about it!