Teenie by Christopher Grant
Freshman, Martine (Teenie) is at the top of her class, she's been working hard to get accepted to Young Scholars Study Abroad Program. Getting in would mean a free trip to Spain.
After Teenie gets her braces off, Cherise, the best friend convinces Teenie to wear something boys will notice. The new look catches the eye of Gregory, a senior and basketball captain.
While Teenie is book smart she needs Cherise help navigating outside of the classroom. After the two have a falling out. Teenie has no one turn to and ends up in a compromising position with Gregory.
Grant doesn't create any wild and unbelievable scenes, the truth of possibility is going to catch many reluctant readers. From Teenie falling for a senior with bad intentions to Cherise chatting online with someone in college.
Teenie's parents are West Indian. The author does an excellent job of intertwining Teenie's cultural background into the story. It was such a pleasure to read a hard too part down contemporary YA novel with a Black female character with Caribbean roots.
"My dad has these sayings - I call them Bereisms and teefin is one that he uses most frequently. Teefin or stealing is done by a teef (thief) or when my dad's really angry, a teefah. It's no wonder that growing up I thought Queen Latifah was a criminal mastermind."
Teenie is a very believable and likeable character.
"At Tech, the lunchroom is the place to be seen. Since I roll with Cherise, I get to sit in the cool section with other freshman. We have to wait our turn before we can mingle with the upperclassman. In our section, the middle of the northwest area, we sit with our clique.
Our area is prime real estate, not too far from the lunch line and within earshot of the football team. Today, for the first time ever I heard them asking about me, the shorty in the Wade dress.
I really liked Teenie. (The story and the girl) ages 13up
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