Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kid Konnection: Fostergirls by Liane Shaw

Fostergirls by Liane Shaw
Second Story Press
ISBN: 978-1897187906
Published Aug 1, 2011
Trade paperback, 256 pages

I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book, but it surpassed my expectations big time. I can say that Fostergirls will be counted among my favourite reads of 2011.

Sadie is a 15 year-old foster girl who has been in the system since she was three, found in the streets begging for food with her brother and no sign of their mother. Since then she was separated from her brother and has lived in twelve different foster homes. Now in another new group home in a small town, Sadie wants to get out of the system and live on her own. She's a tough girl who prefers to go unnoticed and keep to herself, but on her first day in school she meets Rhiannon, a girl her age who talks non-stop and wants to befriend her.

From the moment I picked up this book I wanted to read non-stop. The author captures Sadie and her world so well, that I became engrossed in it very quickly. The story is told from Sadie's point-of-view and I loved being inside her head and seeing things through her young and streetwise eyes. The author's professional experience in the field of education shone through in this novel and she portrayed the challenges both of the foster care parents and the kids, as well as the school system so realistically.

Sadie and Rhiannon are so different from one another and yet they share the frustration of being different from other teens. Their characters are so well-developed, unique, and memorable. Sadie is tough, used to looking out for herself, not allowing herself to care because if she does, she will then feel disappointment which she's experienced too many times in her life. But she is also vulnerable and needs to be loved. Rhiannon loves to take care of others and even when others are unkind to her she is strong and looks beyond their behaviours.

The author handles the rough scenes in this book well. She manages to show us the life of girls in foster care, who've come from painful situations no child should go through, without using any profanity or explicit descriptions. Sure, the language was crude at times but so realistic and without being offensive. This book also explores learning disabilities and some of the programs being implemented to help students who have trouble reading and writing.

Overall, this was an inspiring and revealing book. I highly recommend it to teens, social workers, parents, and teachers. What a great read!

Note: This book is rated C = clean read. There is some rough language but no profanity.
I will count this book toward the following challenges: Young Adult Reading Challenge

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to Monica Palkowski from Second Story Press for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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