Sunday, October 28, 2007
Before, After, and Somebody In Between
Fourteen year-old Martha has certainly not had the easiest life. Her dad isn't in the picture and her mom forces her to continuously move in with different boyfriends, while she maintains a strict alcoholic lifestyle. After getting out of yet another rehab, Martha's mom drags her to live with the newest man, Wayne, who unfortunately lives in a neighborhood where white girl Martha is the minority.
In her new school, Martha is immediately threatened by big, black girl and is pretty much terrified to even show up at the place. Nevertheless, Martha manages to make one or two friends and finds out she has a gift for playing the cello. Life turns out to be not so bad, until a horrible act of violence once again turns Martha's life completely upside-down.
This amazing book by Jeannine Garsee is not for the light-hearted and not for anyone yet to hit teenage status. It is filled with the reality of life on the so-called "wrong side of the tracks" and includes plenty of information about teenage sex, drug use, and gang violence. I really hope that doesn't scare readers away, because the book is simply amazing. I have to go see whether or not it has been nominated in the Young Adult Cybils category yet....if not, someone needs to do so!