The companion to So Done (2018) focuses its lens on the complicated friendship between Simp and Rollie as they strive to make their mark despite the threatening pressures of their surroundings.
Deontae “Simp” Wright and Roland “Rollie” Matthews came up together between the rec center and the basketball courts of their Pirates Cove neighborhood. It’s always been a breeze, kickin’ it and preparing to rep the Cove on its legendary basketball team, the Marauders. Except now, they realize how complicated it is playing for the ’Rauders, as Coach Tez also expects them to take up other responsibilities, like playing lookout for Tez’s investments in the local drug game. For Simp, this come-up represents where he needs to be, because he’s 13 and has to help take care of his brothers while his mother constantly works to stay afloat. On the other hand, Rollie feels torn between being there for his homeboy Simp and stepping away from the burdens of being a ’Rauder in favor of his growing obsession for playing the drums. What will he do when music teacher Mr. B presents him with an opportunity of a lifetime? As in her previous book, Chase displays her signature flair for conveying black youths’ language of intimacy even as she refuses the inaccurate yet popular theory that complex ethical entanglements cannot be engaged in middle-grade fiction.
A thoughtful exploration of the soul-fulfilling heaviness of life in black urban communities. (Fiction. 8-13)