Monday, January 9, 2012
Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodman
Shavonne is living out a life that seems to have gotten away from her. First incarcerated in the eighth grade, and filled with shame and anger, she lashes out at those around her in the most self-destructive ways - all but ensuring that she will be moved to an adult prison on her approaching 18th birthday. Shavonne faces many obstacles: an absent, crack-addicted mother; a little brother who seems to exist only in her distant memories; a baby girl growing up in foster care; and an institution that doesn’t seem to know how to, or want to, help her. But in the unlikeliest of places, with the unlikeliest of allies, she may just find something like hope.
Goodman has created a fascinating and complex character in Shavonne, whose thoughts, feelings, and actions feel authentic. Fans of Paul Griffin’s Ten Mile River and Matt de la Pena’s We Were Here will find in Shavonne a hero facing familiar demons with remarkable insight. --Regan Schwartz