True Believer (Make Lemonade)

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9780739382271: True Believer (Make Lemonade)

We have a multitude
of obstacles to overcome here.
We’ll begin.
    When LaVaughn was little, the obstacles in her life didn’t seem so bad. If she had a fight with Myrtle or Annie, it would never last long. If she was mad at her mother, they made up by bedtime. School was simple. Boys were buddies. Everything made sense.
   But LaVaughn is fifteen and the obstacles aren’t going away anymore. Big questions separate her from her friends. Her mother is distracted by a new man. School could slip away from her so easily. And the boy who’s a miracle in her life acts just as if he’s in love with her. Only he’s not in love with her.
   Returning to the characters and language she explored so profoundly in Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff rises to the occasion in this astonishing second of three novels about LaVaughn, her family, and her community.


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Review:

At 15, LaVaughn already knows that life is hard and that getting ahead takes a strong mind and an even stronger will. Surrounded by poverty and violence, she strives every day not to be just another inner-city statistic: "My hope is strong like an athlete. Every morning when we walk through the metal detectors to get into school ... it is an important day of dues-paying so I can go to college and be out of here." Last year when she babysat for Jolly, a young unwed mother, she saw firsthand how an unplanned pregnancy can diminish options. So she ignores the boys, studies hard, and hopes it will all be enough to get her into college. Then Jody moves back into the neighborhood. Once LaVaughn's childhood friend, Jody is now "suddenly beautiful... He could be in movies the way the parts of his face go together." If LaVaughn's choices were difficult before Jody, now they're almost impossible. What LaVaughn doesn't know is that Jody has difficult decisions of his own to make--decisions that could turn her carefully ordered world upside down.

The second novel in a proposed trilogy, True Believer picks up where the acclaimed Make Lemonade left off. Virginia Euwer Wolff's verse-prose is as sumptuous as ever, and her descriptions of LaVaughn's day-to-day life and feelings are sympathetic and achingly real. Readers will be eager to see where LaVaughn's choices take her in Wolff's next installment. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

From the Inside Flap:

Read by Heather Alicia Simms
Approx. 3 hrs. 45 mins.
3 cassettes

What's new in LaVaughn's life is Jody--a boy she knew as a child who's come back to the housing project where she lives. Jody is like a miracle: He smells like chlorine, he calls her "little buddy," he goes with her to the dance. It's just as if he's in love with her. Except not quite.
As LaVaughn puzzles over Jody, as her best friends struggle with belief and acceptance, and as Jody wrestles with questions about his own identity, Virginia Euwer Wolff rises to the occasion with this astonishing and powerfully moving novel, the second in the Make Lemonade trilogy.

Heather Alicia Simms received an MFA from Columbia University in acting. She has made appearances in various television series, such as Third Watch, Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order and As the World Turns. She also narrated When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune and Shayla's Double Brown Baby Blues available from Listening Library.

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Wolff, Virginia Euwer
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