So Done (Hardcover)
Greenwillow Books, 9780062691781, 304pp.
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
When best friends Tai and Mila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the looming dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.
Fans of Renée Watson’s Piecing Me Together will love this memorable story about a complex friendship between two very different African American girls—and the importance of speaking up.
Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can’t wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and when Mila returns she’s more focused on her upcoming dance auditions than hanging out with Tai.
Paula Chase explores complex issues that affect many young teens, and So Done offers a powerful message about speaking up. Full of ballet, basketball, family, and daily life in Pirates Cove, this memorable novel is for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Jason Reynolds’s Ghost.
About the Author
Paula Chase is the cofounder of The Brown Bookshelf, a site designed to increase awareness of African American voices writing for young readers. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland. Her novels include the acclaimed So Done and its companion, Dough Boys. www.paulachasehyman.com
Praise For So Done…
— - Jo Knowles, award-winning author of See You At Harry’s, Still A work In Progress and the forthcoming Where the Heart Is (2019)
“Chase vividly conjures the triumphs, tensions, and worries percolating in the girls’ low-income neighborhood. Tai’s exuberance forms an effective foil to Mila’s internal turmoil, and the building anticipation about who will be chosen for the program and whether Mila will divulge her secret will keep readers turning pages.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Themes of friendship, trust, loyalty, and family are examined with a sharp eye... Characterization is nuanced and skillfully layered...A pitch-perfect look at changing adolescent relationships and resilience.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“The protagonists tell their stories in memorable voices that ring true to their characters. ...both Mila and Tai are young women that readers will root for.”
— The Horn Book
“An honest coming-of-age tale with two different girls dealing with real issues, crushes, and finding themselves …Chase pulls no punches when it comes to emotional honesty… The dual-perspective narrative tackles serious subjects through an adolescent lens”
— ALA Booklist
“Chase presents genuine characters whose interactions are authentic...So Done excellently embodies the experience of young, black girls and the stress and triumphs of striving to be an individual in a community that respects sticking together above all else.”
— Shelf Awareness