Jacqueline Woodson has the knack of getting down to the nitty gritty in books, that not many authors possess. She blends hardship, tragedy, and raw emotion with drama and relationships, making for great reads. Though her latest, After Tupac and D Foster is not my favorite title of hers, the style of writing and the sheer emotional connections certainly play out, as in her previous books.
When two twelve year old best friends meet D Foster, an outsider to both the town and to the girls, whose mother abandoned her, their lives are instantly changed. The threesome become extremely close, each having family problems, racial issues, and problems with poverty, but the musical world of the rapper, Tupac, connect them.
Through Tupac's lyrics, the girls analyze their lives, friendships, and relationships. They go through incredibly difficult experiences together, with a backdrop of Tupac. When D's mother comes back and wants to take D away, and their beloved Tupac is shot, the girl's friendship will really be put to the ultimate test.
Woodson's novel is bound to appeal to the reluctant reader, which made me want to put it on the shelves at the library immediately. The book is short, filled with great characters and issues, and written in an easy-to-read flow. My only "complaint" is that I feel there almost could have been a bit more meat to the story, maybe another 20 pages or so, just to complete it a little better. I felt the end came up a little too quickly and a few extra pages or one more chapter would have ended it all nicely.
After Tupac and D Foster should be added to any collection that is both familiar and unfamiliar with Jacqueline Woodson's work. To learn more about it or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.