Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Heaven--Angela Johnson

Heaven was published in 1998 and tells the story of 14-yr-old Marley, a black girl with loving parents and a mysterious uncle and an all-around good life. Everything is peachy until Marley brings the mail in one day and sees a letter with an unfamiliar name on it--Monna Floyd--in care of her parents. Thinking she knows all of her parents' friends, Marley is confused. Naturally curious, Marley wonders about the letter until she delivers it to her parents and they freak out. Turns out that Marley does know Monna Floyd--very well. As an infant Marley's name was Monna Floyd, until her mom died and her father couldn't deal and left his child with his brother. In an instant Marley's whole world unravels. Her parents are her aunt and uncle, her brother is actually her cousin, and her mysterious, never-met, uncle is actually her father. This is pretty traumatizing stuff, particularly for a 14 year old girl. She babysits for a boy not much older than herself, Bobby, and his toddler daughter Feather. He has secrets of his own and more experience about her current problem than he lets on, and helps Marley come to terms with her new family life and be grateful she has one. I really enjoyed this book, I admit I got a little teary, and would recommend it to anyone. It's a quick read, only 138 pages, engaging, wonderfully written.

Stay tuned for info on the companion novel, First Part Last, winner of both the Printz and Coretta Scott King awards.

Just Finished Reading:
Reading: Rules of Attraction--Ellis--which is pretty sucky so far
On My Nightstand: Same as before, with the recent addition of Stravaganza: City of Stars--Mary Hoffman

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1 comment:

Brigitte said...

Really wanted to keep this book in our library, but it just doesnt' circulate. Sadly, I need room for the new things. I did keep First Part Last.

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