Atheneum Books, Hardcover, 9781416917953, 234pp.
Publication Date: May 22, 2007
"The best way to avoid being picked on by high school bullies is to kill someone."
Karina has plenty to worry about on the last day of seventh grade: finding three Ds and a C on her report card again, getting laughed at by everyone again, being sent to the principal -- again. She'd like this to change, but with her and her sisters dodging their stepfather's fists every day after school, she doesn't have time to do much self-reflecting. Finally her stepfather is taken away on child abuse charges, and Karina thinks things might turn into something resembling normal. The problem is, he's not gone for good. And as Karina becomes closer with a girl at the community center where her stepfather is not showing up for his parenting classes, she starts to realize a couple things. First, for all the problems her family had tried to escape by immigrating from Haiti, they brought most of them along to upstate New York. And second, if anything is going to change for this family, it is going to be up to Karina and her sisters to make it happen.
M. Sindy Felin's debut novel is the story of a young girl's coming-of-age amid the violent waters that run just beneath the surface of suburbia -- a story that has the courage to ask: How far will you go to protect the ones you love?
"M. Sindy Felin is a writer whose words flow like mercury -- volatile and dangerous. She is a wonderful, mesmerizing new talent." -- Sharon M. Draper, Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of The Battle of Jericho
"Karina is a funny, whip-smart girl caught in the middle of a nightmare. Only when I laughed out loud did I remember to breathe." -- Valerie Hobbs, author of Defiance