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WHAT MOMMA LEFT ME by Renée Watson


by Renée Watson

Pub Date: July 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59990-446-7
Publisher: Bloomsbury

After her mother’s death at the hands of her abusive father, African-American eighth grader Serenity Evans and her younger brother go to live with their loving grandfather, a pastor, and grandmother, a church volunteer, in this enlightening debut novel. To deal with her worries—grief; her neighborhood, where drugs and violence remain a constant temptation; her feelings for a boy involved in both; her brother’s poor choices; her questioning of God—she turns to her journal, which begins each chapter and includes assigned poems and quotes from the Bible and Maya Angelou. Surrounded by strong women who remind the young teen that she always has options, Serenity grows in quiet fortitude as she becomes more committed to her church and personal ethos and tries to find her momma’s legacy beyond shoes, nightmares and secrets. By facing difficult questions, she discovers that individual moments in life, like the ingredients in her favorite red velvet cake, may be unsavory, but combined together, they create a delicious experience. Warm, rich and satisfying. (recipe) (Fiction. 10-14)