Books by Darwin McBeth Walton

DANCE, KAYLA! by Darwin McBeth Walton
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 1998

When her beloved grandmother dies unexpectedly, Kayla is forced to move from a close-knit South Carolina farming community to inner-city Chicago; there she struggles to adjust to living with relatives and making new friends. Walton's attempt to incorporate a range of topics within the framework of a short novel collapses under its own weight: An uncommunicative father, an extended family, the death of a grandparent, adjustment to a new family, and incidents of random violence and racism (Kayla is African-American) all come into play as Kayla tries to maintain her dream of dancing despite the rapid pace of change in her life. The ending feels contrived and abrupt; the absence of Kayla's father, a significant undercurrent in her emotional life, is never satisfactorily explored. Kayla is an appealing protagonist and readers with a special interest in dance will identify with her desire to achieve her dream, but others will find little to hold their interest. (Fiction. 10-12) Read full book review >