THE DEAR ONE by Jacqueline Woodson


Age Range: 12 & up
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 Second-novelist Woodson (the well-received Last Summer with Maison, 1990) gives thoughtful consideration to the impact of a pregnant teenager on the 12-year-old daughter of a friend who takes her in. Afeni (Swahili for ``Dear One'') is still coping with her grandmother's death and her parents' divorce when her mother invites Rebecca, 15, daughter of a childhood friend who now lives in Harlem, to share their suburban home until her baby is born. Rebecca finds it as hard to deal with a group of caring women (which includes recovering alcoholics and a lesbian couple) as Afeni does to share her room with a stranger whose concerns are her boyfriend and the baby she's about to give up. Still, in their time together the two form a bond that enables each to grow in understanding and love. Minimal plot, but the characterizations are rich, warm, and memorable; Woodson draws a frank, realistic picture of a community of African-American women who thrive while bravely confronting a myriad of problems and life situations. Though the writing is occasionally a little slapdash, this is a strong, original, and life-affirming book. (Fiction. 12+)*justify no*

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-30416-1
Page count: 145pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991


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