True Believer
published in 2002

Details

Appropriate age:
Young Adult (age 15-18)
Reading level:
Grade 6
Genres: Fiction, Romance
Subjects: Family, Friendship, Parents, Poverty, Romance, Violence, Social Issues, Wolves, Values

Description

At 15, LaVaughn already knows that life is hard and that getting ahead takes a strong mind and an even stronger will. Surrounded by poverty and violence, she strives every day not to be just another inner-city statistic: "My hope is strong like an athlete. Every morning when we walk through the metal detectors to get into school... it is an important day of dues-paying so I can go to college and be out of here." Last year when she babysat for Jolly, a young unwed mother, she saw firsthand how an unplanned pregnancy can diminish options. So she ignores the boys, studies hard, and hopes it will all be enough to get her into college. Then Jody moves back into the neighborhood. Once LaVaughn's childhood friend, Jody is now "suddenly beautiful... He could be in movies the way the parts of his face go together." If LaVaughn's choices were difficult before Jody, now they're almost impossible. What LaVaughn doesn't know is that Jody has difficult decisions of his own to make--decisions that could turn her carefully ordered world upside down. The second novel in a proposed trilogy, True Believer picks up where the acclaimed Make Lemonade left off. Virginia Euwer Wolff's verse-prose is as sumptuous as ever, and her descriptions of LaVaughn's day-to-day life and feelings are sympathetic and achingly real. Readers will be eager to see where LaVaughn's choices take her in Wolff's next installment. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert