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Kendra Hardcover – October 1, 2008


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An Ember in the Ashes
"An Ember in the Ashes"
When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.Learn more | More in Teen and Young Adult
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An Ember in the Ashes
"An Ember in the Ashes"
When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.Learn more | More in Teen and Young Adult

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Push (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439925363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439925365
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 9 Up—Growing up with her grandmother in Bronxwood, 14-year-old Kendra Williamson is waiting for Renée, her 28-year-old mom, to finish school so they can get their own place. Kendra can't help but feel abandoned when her mother gets her PhD at Princeton and then moves to a studio apartment in Harlem, once again leaving her daughter behind. When her grandmother's restrictive rules, her crush's physical attention, and her friend's self-absorption become overwhelming, Kendra gets her chance to live with her mother and learn whether Renée can be a true parent. Booth has a talent for emotional honesty. When Kendra confronts her mother about her previous choices and learns that, if she could change the past, she would not keep Kendra, the feelings of abandonment and betrayal radiate from the page. The convoluted but redeeming friendship between Kendra and her best friend and aunt, Adonna, resonates with heartbreak and honesty. Teens will appreciate Kendra's internal justification monologues, especially in relation to her Nana; Booth balances that self-examination with street fights to further engage her audience. Adults act as fully realized characters, serving as disciplinarians and mentors, not moralizing preachers. Kendra's quick acquiescence to anal sex seems to be too fast, though this and all other sex scenes are neither graphic nor gratuitous. From Bronx blocks to Harlem hangouts, Booth delivers dynamic characters and an engaging story.—Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Fans of Tyrell (2006) will welcome another tale about a Bronx teen facing big challenges. Fifteen-year-old Kendra has been raised by her grandmother, Nana, while her 29-year-old mother has been away earning university degrees. Now that her mother’s PhD is complete, Kendra is hoping that the family will finally reunite, but her mom chooses to get a studio apartment without her daughter. Kendra’s longing for love leads her too quickly into a physical relationship with hot Nashawn. Kendra doesn’t want sex, in part because Nana threatens to have her physically “checked” to confirm her virginity, but Nashawn suggests oral and anal sex as alternatives to traditional intercourse. Kendra agrees, and she is guilt ridden over the acts (which are frankly discussed) as well as confused by the passion she feels. Her father, who is in a dead-end job as a snack-food truck driver, rounds out the strong secondary characters. Kendra’s talent at architectural drawing and set design will attract artistic teens, while her realistic daily problems with friends, family, and boys will appeal to a wide audience. Grades 10-12. --Cindy Dobrez

Customer Reviews

Ok I can read this book over and over again.
Vincencial
I just wish that everything had not been tied into such a neat little bow and ended the way it did.
N. Dev
Renee was only concerned about what she wanted and didn't give Kendra a second thought.
Katrina L. Burchett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katrina L. Burchett VINE VOICE on July 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kendra Williamson is fourteen years old and she attends North Bronx High School for Arts and Communications. She loves to draw houses and floor plans; a skill that will lead to a promising career in the future. She's not focusing a whole lot on future plans, though. The main thing that's on her mind, what she wants more than anything, is to spend more time with her mother, Renee.

Kendra lives with her Nana, Valerie. Renee, who gave birth to Kendra in ninth grade, missed ten years of her daughter's life while she finished high school, then college and then grad school. Now she's graduating from Princeton with a PhD and Kendra believes she will finally have a "real" mother. A mother who will be around for more than just minutes at a time and will care about the things she cares about. A mother who will want her. But, sadly, once Renee is back in the Bronx the neglect continues so, desperate for attention, Kendra makes a choice that surprises even her. A choice she regrets, but repeats even though she feels so bad about herself after the first time.

I felt so bad for Kendra. The girl goes out there and makes choices she probably wouldn't have made if somebody would have taken the time to talk to her and, most of all, truly love her. Her mother obviously loved herself more than she loved her daughter. Renee was only concerned about what she wanted and didn't give Kendra a second thought. I was so glad Kendra's Nana cared enough about her granddaughter to raise her. Valerie loved Kendra the best way she knew how, but her way was a bit controlling and smothering. And Kendra's dad, Kenny? Well, it seemed he was still trying to find his own way in the world.

The author was not playin' when she penned this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kel on August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
ok let me explain my title, i ordered this book thinking it was about kendra wilkinson u know the chick from the girls next door, so i was a little taken aback when i started reading it and realised it wasnt. i was sorely tempted to send it back and demand a refund but something in my mind said "just read it its not like u have a lot of options with books u havent read" so i continued to read and i think by the 2nd chapter i was hooked and got so bad that i started reading it at work which by the way is not allowed but i just couldnt put it down. i was disappointed when it finished i was hoping there was more to it but maybe Coe Booth will write a sequel lol or the male main characters side of the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on November 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I tear up just thinking about this book -- the emotion is so raw. I wanted to give Kendra a big hug and assure that everything would eventually be okay. It's the sort of book you'll read quickly and then want to share with a friend so you can talk about it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on November 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Coe Booth has been praised by booksellers and librarians alike for her gritty and painfully honest portrayal of teens living on the edge. She has also amassed a devoted following of teen readers who claim she is one of few authors out there who actually tells it like it is.

In her first book, TYRELL --- winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Young Adult Novel --- she brings up some fairly hefty issues (homelessness, drug addiction, poverty) and addresses them head-on with great aplomb and grace. Her characters, especially Tyrell, were truly inspirational to watch --- fully flawed yet unabashedly ardent in their struggle to figure out who they were, how they wanted to behave and where they wanted to go. Therefore, it is no surprise that her second novel, KENDRA, is a bonafide tour-de-force --- and for many of the same reasons.

Kendra is a 14-year-old girl from the Bronx who, like Tyrell, is wise beyond her years. Well, sort of. Perhaps the right word is "mature," but not necessarily emotionally. Like her mother was, she is thin, pretty and sexually curious. But unlike her mother, she isn't about to have a baby at 14 --- especially if her grandmother has anything to say about it. The basic routine of going to school, hanging out with her best friend, Adonna (who also happens to be her aunt; Kendra's father is Adonna's brother), getting good grades and spending most nights at home (she HAS lived with her grandmother ever since she could remember) has worked thus far. So why wouldn't it continue to work in the future?

As Kendra soon becomes aware, though, life isn't that easy, nor is it that squeaky clean.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angela Cox on December 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Kendra is a fourteen year-old girl at a crossroad. Up until now she has obeyed her grandmother's rules, and listen to her teenage aunt "tell her about life". Her mother was fourteen when she was born. Her grandmother agreed to temporarily raise her so that her mother could get her education, a stable life, and take over as a parent. Kendra's parents were babies having a baby. Her mother has achieved all of her goals but still puts off assuming her role as a parent. Kendra's father never achieves the stability to care for Kendra but is a demonstrative and loving presence in her life. When Kendra begins to question her ability to be loved and cared for by her mother she questions her own confidence and becomes curious about her attractiveness and sexuality. In fact, she is drawn to the same boy that attracts her teenage aunt. Will history repeat itself? Will her parents pay attention to her and assume their roles? What happens to children when a parent places "success" above everything else?
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More About the Author

I was born and raised in New York City, in the Bronx. I'm the author of TYRELL, KENDRA, and BRONXWOOD.

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