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Begging for Change (Bccb Blue Ribbon Fiction Books (Awards)) Hardcover – June 2, 2003

28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

*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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Bccb Blue Ribbon Fiction Books (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jump At The Sun (April 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078680601X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786806010
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,366,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TheRAWKidzReview on June 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
BEGGING FOR CHANGE is the highly anticipated sequel to Sharon G. Flake's Money Hungry. This book picks up the story of Raspberry Hill a girl who is obsessed with money, because of the security it brings her. Determined not to be homeless again, Raspberry is the budding entrepreneur, doing anything legal to obtain money. In this book, she finds that although money can bring about security, it cannot ensure happiness.
The book begins with Raspberry's mother being assaulted by a young girl because she is trying to keep peace in her neighborhood. Raspberry is distraught, feels threatened, and as a result she steals money from her best friend, Zora. This causes a rift between the girls. Raspberry also begins to develop feelings for Sato, a boy from her school. She is faced with the dilemma of being in love without losing her entrepreneurial spirit. The book also introduces Raspberry's father, a homeless, crack addict. Although Raspberry loves her father, she has difficulties in "liking" him, especially when he steals her hard-earned money. She also deals with an identity crisis, wondering if she has inherited any of her father's ways.
Sharon G. Flake has done it again. Her latest book ties up loose ends from Money Hungry, but introduces new problems and situations. The recurring theme of the identity crisis, shown through Raspberry and her biracial friend, Mai, is one that children who read this book will readily relate to. I highly recommend this book for fans of Flake, and for children who may have difficulties accepting themselves or their parents.
Reviewed by Latoya Carter-Qawiyy
The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Raspberry is certain...something's got to change. Raspberry Hill is a teenager who is going through some hardships in her life. Her mother was taken to the hospital after being attacked by a wisecracking teenage neighbor. As a result, Raspberry goes to stay with her friend Zora and her dad, Dr. Mitchell. While staying there, Raspberry steals from Zora's purse, while at a restaurant. Once her mom is well again, Raspberry moves back with her mom, but her crack-headed father returns and steals her money. With this, Raspberry apologizes to Zora and understands what it is like to have something be taken without permission. I recommend this book to all teenagers and their friends.

For one, it includes real life situations. Like when her father steals her money out of her room. Also the book shows how many parents are struggling and trying to pay the bills. In addition it describes what it is like to live in Section 8 or not have a caring father. Begging for change does an excellent job making the reader get emotionally feelings for the characters in the book.

Next, you could relate to the characters and their actions. For example, I could sense Zora's anger after Raspberry steals from her. In addition, I could experience Raspberry's joy once her mother comes home from the hospital. Also, I felt Raspberry's rue after stealing from Zora. While reading this book, I could put myself in their positions and see what I would have done.

Begging for Change has a wonderful moral for all people to understand. For instance, no matter how jealous you are, you should never steal from your friends like Raspberry did. In addition, when you steal from someone, it has an impact on your whole family and friends.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By 50 Cent on January 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Raspberry Hill, who was once homeless vowed never to be on the streets again. She thought that money was everything. But when a neighbor attacks her mom and nearly kills her, she starts to steal from her best friend and from her other neighbors. After her best friend finds out, she loses a very dear friend. Raspberry, who loves money so much, doesn't admit what she has done. At the same time she is struggling between two hard relationships, her blossoming one with a Sato, a boy from school, and her drug addicted father, who steals from Raspberry, lies, and is living by himself on the streets. After stealing from her best friend and good neighbor, she can't help but think that she has inherited her father's lying and stealing ways.

I would recommend this book because I think it was fun to read and I enjoyed it very much. It was very captivating because of the way it captured the characters' moods.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BookRemarks on June 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read a juvenile fiction book in quite some time but the voice of the narrator is what made me want to read Begging for Change. It's the story of Raspberry, a young girl who is going through much adversity that involves her family and friends. I think Raspberry is a character that kids or grownups can understand. She is emotional - mad, happy, afraid, shy, indignant, jealous, and everything in between. She's not perfect, she's real and that's a wonderful attribute to find in fiction. If you enjoy reading about young people and want to understand how they think and where they are coming from in terms of friendships, family, loyalty, and justice, you might enjoy reading Begging for Change.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandra K. Stiles on July 8, 2009
Format: Unknown Binding
This is the story of a young girl whose father is a drug addict and her mother is trying to get ahead in life. Raspberry's mother is dating her best friend's father, a doctor. Raspberry's mother is brutally attacked and ends up in the hospital. While Raspberry is trying to deal with the incident, the area they live in and the fact that her father should have been there to protect them, she makes some bad decisions and steals some money. This threatens to tear her friendships apart and eats at her unmercifully. Unpleasant encounters with her father where he steals from her sets her on the path to thinking she has become like her. Raspberry has to go through a lot of thoughtful soul searching to set things right in her life. Excellent book. This is one that teens will definitely be able to relate to.
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