SWEET THANG by Allison Whittenberg


Age Range: 10 - 14
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Three years after the death of her Auntie Karyn and the subsequent arrival of her terminally adorable cousin Tracy John into the family, 14-year-old Charmaine still hasn’t come to terms with this reality. As if having the disgustingly cute Tracy John in the household isn’t enough, Maine has to cope with all the usual travails of adolescence: Her skin is too black; her crush-object Demetrius is happy enough to have her do his homework, but he gives his affection to the annoyingly light-skinned Dinah; she has to baby-sit for Tracy John after school; her family doesn’t understand her. Whittenberg has crafted a highly enjoyable tale, set just after the end of the Vietnam War, with a smart, funny narrator-protagonist who acknowledges the problems of the world but keeps them at arm’s length. There are few surprises in store for readers—Maine learns to love Tracy John and to dislike the crummily opportunistic Demetrius—but they could do a lot worse than to spend a few hours in Maine’s head. Well-crafted entertainment-grade books about African-American teens are all too rare, and this is a solid contribution to the genre. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 28th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-73292-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2006


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