Monday, November 22, 2010

YA Review: After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

The Summer of D Foster, and how it intertwined with the loss of Tupac Shakur, is the focus of this summer tale by Jaqueline Woodson.

While exploring the not so nearby neighborhood of her newest foster mother, D Foster claims Neeka and the unnamed narrator as her new friends.  A strange, but effective friendship ensues as the three 11 year-old girls live through the ups and downs of life in Queens, NY.  D is that friend we all have had.  The one who is unafraid and "cool".  The fearless one who brings adventure and wonder into our lives.

Along with the story of D, we are also introduced to the relationship between Neeka and the narrator as they learn more about themselves and where they stand on life's issues.  One such issue being Neeka's older brother Tash who is in jail for making a bad choice. Feelings on his homosexuality are also explored through the narrator's thoughts.

I have lived this story.  What I found so great about it was the seamless way the author showed that sometimes that cool friend, is the one who needs that wonder the most.  D Foster is hanging on very tightly to the idea that she will one day be reunited with her mother.  While the girls tend to brush it under the rug as wishful thinking, the hope and tenacity of D helps the story soar.  I have had friends who were very much like D Foster.  This book was an amazing glimpse at what is going on in homes nearby.  As most stories like this seem to become cliche and very similar, the author finds more than a few ways to slip in twists and surprises.

The story is filled with information and references to Tupac Shakur's art, poetry and music, but most importantly the effect his death had on the young adults who idolized him and found him to be their spokesperson.  This book is an excellent choice for an introduction to more of Jacqueline Woodson's work, as like her other stories, she uses brief encounters to show how our lives can change in an instant.

Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac & D Foster. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2008. Print.

Mrs.Tiye's Thoughts:  Thoughtful, Engaging characters, Jumpy storyline at times.

0 people wrote some stuff:

Post a Comment