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A GIRL LIKE ME  by Ni-Ni Simone

A GIRL LIKE ME

By Ni-Ni Simone

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7582-2843-7
Publisher: Dafina/Kensington

This Cinderella story of a courageous ghetto girl will appeal to many young readers who admire or inhabit a world similar to Elite’s, a 17-year-old beauty trapped in poverty by her crackhead mother. The story seems nearly as miraculous as the original fairy tale, yet Simone portrays Elite with depth and verve as the girl struggles to overcome her environment even after she falls for her handsome “prince,” hip-hop star Haneef. Although Elite loves her mother, she hides her family life from her friends. She acts as the real mother to her younger siblings, but can’t cope when she’s caught up in a minor crime. Elite’s rich characterization stands as the major achievement of the novel, although the formula plot and raw dialogue will attract many young readers. It is rendered in heavy vernacular that appears to be authentic and will attract those who know it, but may stump those readers to whom it’s unfamiliar. Dynamic and interesting. (Fiction. YA)