for What Momma Left Me
by Renée Watson
Just after their mother’s death, thirteen-year-old Serenity and her twelve-year-old brother, Danny, have gone to live with their maternal grandparents. In this narrative told bit by bit in a young African American’s memorable first-person voice, Serenity reveals that her mother was killed by her father, who had a history of abuse. As Serenity starts at a new school, makes a good friend, and finds herself drawn to a boy with a reputation for trouble, she finds herself struggling with what happened, especially as she sees her brother heading down a dangerous path of his own. But Serenity’s grandparents and other extended family members provide her with a strong sense of security and support. In dealing with changes and decisions of her own, Serenity determines that their love and her own religious faith are essential to helping her see the future as something filled with possibility. Renée Watson’s impressive first novel tackles some of the hard, hard things that can happen in a child’s life while firmly asserting the power and promise of hope and love. (Ages 10–14)
CCBC Choices 2011. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011. Used with permission.
Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Ren´┐Że Watson's heart-tugging debut celebrates one girl's gift for finding joy in dark places.
Serenity knows she is good at keeping secrets, and she's got a whole lifetime's worth of them. Her mother is dead, her father is gone, and starting life over at her grandparents' house is strange. Luckily, certain things seem to hold promise: a new friend, a new church, a new school. But when her brother starts making poor choices, and her grandparents believe in a faith that Serenity isn't sure she understands, it is the power of love that will keep her sure of just who she is.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.