Jaira Placide Fresh Girl

ISBN 13: 9780440237648

Fresh Girl

3.65 avg rating
( 65 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780440237648: Fresh Girl

Mardi was born in New York, but her parents sent her to Haiti to be raised in her grandmother’s house while they worked. When a coup d’état means 12-year-old Mardi and her sister must flee, they suddenly arrive in Brooklyn to live with parents they hardly know. Now it’s two years later. Mardi has adapted to her new life, while savoring sweet memories of her home in Haiti. But she is also haunted by her secret: a soldier raped her when she fled. This ambitious first novel is an insightful story of how family love and support can heal and help us move from world to world.
From the Hardcover edition.

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Review:

"In French my name means Tuesday (Mardi)... because I was born on a Tuesday. Thank God it wasn't a Wednesday because then my name would have been Mercredi. In English it sounds like a pain reliever." When it comes to her name, 14-year-old Mardi can joke. It's just the rest of her life that's not so funny. At school she is accused of having "HBO" (Haitian Body Odor) and at home, there is no privacy in the tiny apartment she shares with many assorted family members. And if she strays slightly from her parents' rigid standards of what it means to be a good Haitian girl, she is harshly accused of being "fresh." But Mardi is keeping a terrible secret from her family about things that happened to her during a military coup those last troubled days in Haiti, a secret that makes her sprinkle her bed with rocks to escape the deep slumber of nightmares. And as that secret begins to surface, Mardi must choose to tell and live, or keep silent, while dying inside.

In this challenging debut novel, author Jaira Placide tackles many thorny topics, including sexual harassment, immigrant assimilation, self-mutilation, and rape with a finesse and sensitivity that belies her first-time status. Mardi is a complex character whose joy and pain resonate deeply, mainly due to Placide's ability to maintain Mardi's naive yet cynical voice. With the publication of Fresh Girl, Jaira Placide has released a fresh new voice to the world of teen literature. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

From the Back Cover:

A vivid, touching first novel which offers a new glimpse of what “coming to America” asks of immigrants, and shows how family love can build a bridge from world to world.

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Placide, Jaira
Published by Laurel Leaf (2004)
ISBN 10: 0440237645 ISBN 13: 9780440237648
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