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STANDING AGAINST THE WIND by Traci L. Jones

STANDING AGAINST THE WIND

By Traci L. Jones

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2006
ISBN: 0-374-37174-1
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Patrice’s rarely seen mother is in jail, and shy, studious Patrice lives with her aunt in a crowded apartment in the Chicago projects. Each day she must run the gauntlet of taunts and threats, as she negotiates the halls of her middle school and the long cold blocks between school and home. When Monty becomes her friend and protector, she is able to concentrate on applying for a scholarship to a prestigious African-American boarding school. It takes courage, ingenuity and help from Monty to get to the prison and to convince her uncaring mother to sign the application. Along the way, Monty, impressed by Patrice’s steadfastness, raises his own grades and goals. Jones vividly and painfully portrays the deadening effects of poverty, hopelessness and dysfunctional and ever-changing family relationships. She chooses credible language for each character without creating caricatures. Patrice is a true hero, a child who has the inner strength to overcome roadblocks to success. Moving and thought-provoking. (Fiction. 12-14)