When eight-year-old Paris and her ten-year-old brother Malcolm run away from their abusive foster family in New York City, they hope their grandmother will take them in. She doesn't want them. Instead, Paris is taken by Children's Services to a new foster home with the Lincoln family in upstate New York. Though she grieves over being separated from Malcolm, for the first time ever Paris sees what it's like to be part of a loving, caring, normal family that treats her with affection and respect. Paris's ultimately hopeful and uplifting story is tempered with sobering elements, and deals frankly with tough issues including her fear of the dark that stems from being locked in a closet all day, her ambivalent feelings about her alcoholic mother who deserted her and now wants her back; and the racism she faces as a biracial child.
Compare the riveting realism of Paris's story with the fantasy elements in Lois Lowry's Gossamer, about another abandoned child who finds healing, but with the help of a little dream-giver named Littlest One.
Reviewed by JF.
Themes: AFRICAN AMERICANS. BROTHERS AND SISTERS. MULTICULTURAL BOOKS.
Putnam Juvenile, 2006
Suggested Ages: 9 and Up