Front Street Incorporated
2001 Michael L Printz Honor Book
After her sister Laura is murdered in South Africa, Berry and her estranged father travel there to participate in the dedication of a memorial in her name.
I actually finished this about 10 days ago, and have continued to read, but haven’t had the time or energy to sit and finish writing up my reflections.
I loved this little book — I felt like the narrator was someone I could relate to, and her struggles with her family, feelings, and situation seemed authentic.
This book is set in South Africa in the time right after apartheid ended, and I think a reader might want to do a little bit of research (or a refresher if the reader is old and was alive and older than 5 during the timeframe of the book….) about apartheid, in order to fully appreciate the context, but I don’t think it’s required.
The conversations between the main character, Berry, and her Dad — and often, the things she DOESN’T say, but probably should — felt very true. She knows she’s being a jerk to her Dad, but she can’t help it. But Berry goes on her journey and comes out the other side a little more grown up, and little more able to cope.
I think this is a book that a teenager experiencing their own loss, whatever form that may come in, could read and feel kinship with, hopefully coming to a better understanding of their feelings and how to related to the world around them.