Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I've now read all three of the books by author Traci L. Jones.  They are perfect for middle grade girls.  Each features a strong female protagonist determined to reach her goal.

In STANDING AGAINST THE WIND Patrice Williams must leave her grandmother's home in Georgia and move to Chicago with her mother.  After only eight short weeks, Patrice's mother ends up in prison leaving Patrice with an aunt she barely knows. 

Patrice hates Chicago.  It is cold and windy.  She spends her days working hard to earn straight A's in school, keeping her aunt's apartment clean, cooking meals on time, and taking care of her two younger cousins.  When the principal suggests that Patrice apply for a scholarship contest to an African-American boarding school in the South, Patrice believes it may be her only chance to make something of her life.  She is determined to complete the application on time and win one of the coveted scholarships.

It is 1975 in FINDING MY PLACE.  Tiphanie Baker's father receives a promotion which requires the family move from the heart of Denver, Colorado, to the suburbs.  Tiphanie is one of only two black students attending ninth grade at Brent Hills High.  She misses her old life.  Her parents insist that given time she will be just as comfortable here as she was in Denver. 

Tiphanie struggles as she attempts to fit in to her new surroundings.  Not only does she have to make a place for herself in Brent Hills, but she also finds that on visits back to her old neighborhood, she no longer fits in there.  Through it all, she is determined to "find her place."

Author Traci L. Jones's last book is SILHOUETTED BY THE BLUE.  You can read my review of that book here.

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