Tuesday, December 16, 2008

After Tupac & D Foster Jacqueline Woodson

After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson, I don't know what took me so long to read this, I really have no excuse because 1) it's Woodson and 2) I read a lot of great reviews. After Tupac and D Foster is set in the mid 90's. The book opens with a nameless narrator and her best friend, Neeka learning that Tupac survived being shot five times. The narrator and Neeka have been friends since birth. They're eleven years old, and their mothers believe too young to travel by themselves. So they stay on their Queens block., one day D finds her way to them. D Foster is also eleven however she doesn't have a mother to worry over her. Instead D has a foster parent that trust D's instinct to roam the city. The connection between the girls is quick and very believable. The life time two some quickly turns into Three the Hard Way. All three love Tupac's music. Woodson narrator is a reader so we learn Tupac's mother was a Black Panther and he was born in prison. D Foster feels Tupac lyrics are speaking for and to her. There are moments in the novel when D feels safe enough to share a small part of herself thanks to one of Tupac songs. In those moments Woodson makes me feel D's safety. Nothing out of the ordinary happens in this novel, that's part of its beauty. Its simply life. Woodson's writing is beautiful, this book not even 200 pages yet I felt connected to all of the characters. The three girls of course but there's also Neeka's, older brother JayJones who dreams of playing pro ball, Neeka's oldest brother Tash, a self proclaimed Queen, a victim of a hate crime and serving time. It doesn't matter if a young reader is unfamiliar with Tupac, they'll still enjoy this novel. I believe this is more then Tupac its about being young and finding something or someone that understands you. Many readers will relate to D's connection to Tupac and her need for it. After Tupac and D Foster would be an excellent mother - daughter book club read . There's so much that can be dissected and discussed. Also moms can reminisce but not too much moms you don't want your daughters rolling their eyes.

Time to Share
"Brohers be hunted," Jayjones said one Sunday morning. "I wanted to tell Jayjones that sisters be hunted too- boys screaming behind you and whatnot. Trying to touch you and whaynot when you walked passed them like they had some kind of right to your body. It was crazy."

"I see Tupac rapping and I see he got that same look that I got- like we both know what it feels like to be that hungry, to wan to eat something that bad. And when you finally get something to eat your stomach gets all cramped up around it and you can't even keep it down."

Other After Tupac & D Foster reviews (slightly more extensive) Fuse #8 TeenReads

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