Twelve-year-olds Marie and Lena are drawn to each other. Marie is black and Lena is white, but both have lost their mothers . . . and both know how to keep a secret. For Lena has a terrifying secret--her father is abusing her sexually. She's desperate to protect not only herself but her younger sister. Marie must decide--how can she help Lena? By ...
Twelve-year-olds Marie and Lena are drawn to each other. Marie is black and Lena is white, but both have lost their mothers . . . and both know how to keep a secret. For Lena has a terrifying secret--her father is abusing her sexually. She's desperate to protect not only herself but her younger sister. Marie must decide--how can she help Lena? By keeping her secret, or by telling it?
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This is a wonderful story about a relationship between two young girls from the opposite sides of the fence. As they begin getting to know one another, their friendship becomes strong despite the obstacles in their own individual lives. The girls come to realize that they are different but they are the same. This book is an excellent choice to teach young ones about true friendship.
Publishers Weekly, 1994-04-18 This sensitive yet gritty novel about incest may be Woodson's ( Between Madison and Palmetto ) strongest work to date. Marie, the eighth-grade narrator, lives in an all-black suburb of Athens, Ohio, with her father; her mother, who has inherited money from her own parents, sends arty messages from the far-flung locales she has toured since leaving the family two years ago. Ignoring the sneers of her friends--and her father's warnings--Marie befriends ``whitetrash'' Lena, the new girl at school. Woodson confronts sticky questions about race head-on, with the result that her observations and her characterizations are all the more trustworthy. Her approach to the incest theme is less immediate but equally convincing--Marie receives Lena's restrained confidences about being molested, at first disbelieving Lena, then torn between her desire to help her friend and her promise not to tell anyone. Lena has tried all the textbook solutions--including reporting her father to the authorities--and has learned that outside interference only brings more trouble. Marie, struggling to cope with her mother's desertion, must accept Lena's disappearance, too, when Lena and her younger sister first decide to run away and then do flee. Told in adroitly sequenced flashbacks, Woodson's novel is wrenchingly honest and, despite its sad themes, full of hope and inspiration. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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