From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-This sequel to Money Hungry (Hyperion, 2001) offers a compelling slice of urban life for a contemporary African-American teen. When Raspberry Hill's mother is hit in the head with a metal pipe and hospitalized, the 14-year-old steals money from her wealthy best friend's purse. She does odd jobs to earn additional money, only to have it stolen by her homeless, drug-addicted father more than once. Readers come to know Raspberry, her friends, and the people around her. While some are dangerous, a sense of community caring comes through, and she finds help among supportive adults. She is a survivor with a good heart, although she questions herself along the way, always worrying that she will end up like her father. With good friends and a truly loving mother to help her through, it's clear that Raspberry will make it, even if she gets a little bruised in the process. A story with an inspiring but not preachy message.
Sunny Shore, Chestnut Ridge Middle School, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* Gr. 7-12. "Would you be all right if your mother got hit in the head with a pipe and your father was high as a kite?" In this sequel to Money Hungry (2001) Raspberry Hill's mother is in the hospital after being attacked by a neighborhood teenage girl, and Raspberry's father, homeless and addicted to drugs, resurfaces. Terrified that she and her mother may land back on the streets, Raspberry steals money from a friend. Is she turning into her father? Flake's charged, infectious dialogue will sweep readers through the first-person story as Raspberry describes her fears and moral quandaries; her new romance; her fierce love for her mother; and her powerful, conflicted feelings about her dad. Although vivid images of urban poverty, violence, and drug addiction clearly illustrate why Raspberry is so afraid, Flake never sensationalizes. The identity struggles of some of Raspberry's biracial friends threaten, at times, to distract from the main story, but Flake manages ultimately to balance her many plots and blend them into a hopeful novel that encourages readers to share Raspberry's questions: Can money buy security? How do you forgive those who have hurt you? Does violence ever stop rippling through a community once it begins? Gillian Engberg
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