Monday, March 17, 2008

After Tupac & D Foster

After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
The day D Foster enters Neeka and her best friend's lives, the world opens up for them. D comes from a world vastly different from their safe Queens neighborhood, and through her, the girls see another side of life that includes loss, foster families and an amount of freedom that makes the girls envious. Although all of them are crazy about Tupac Shakur's rap music, D is the one who truly understands the place where he's coming from, and through knowing D, Tupac's lyrics become more personal for all of them. The girls are thirteen when D's mom swoops in to reclaim D-and as magically as she appeared, she now disappears from their lives. Tupac is gone, too, after another shooting; this time fatal. As the narrator looks back, she sees lives suspended in time, and realizes that even all-too-brief connections can touch deeply.


sanguinity said...

Woodson has a graceful, delicate touch for her characters, an authorial awe about folks' inner lives. As a reader, this is the sort of book I live for.

Danyel Smith/NYTimesBookReview said...

Woodson has created a rich world with relentless attention to emotional detail..."It's all quiet now," says the narrator to Neeka,"you can start working on planning your Big Purpose." These girls have lives...The characters are luscious and dangerous with brand-new moments of self-rule...Woodson writes moments of humanity that the girls respond to with whole hearts. They wear innocence like polished armor, and it shines.