Fans of Make Lemonade and True Believer have been eager for the final episode of this verse trilogy, to see where Wolff takes her protagonist, LaVaughn. For a while it seems as if LaVaughn's good heart and tenacity have been cleanly rewarded: she wins a spot in a highly selective program for underprivileged girls planning on careers in medical science. Although focused on her future, she remains acutely aware of others' struggles: her friend Annie gets pregnant; she learns that Jolly, the single mother whose children she babysits, was abandoned in infancy; and she regrets spurning brilliant Patrick ("And I never found out if he forgave me/ for being mean and childish and not noticing I was"). Even Dr. Moore, the inspiring woman who founded the medical science program, turns out to have a blistering secret in her past. Struggling to "act according to your conscience/ even when you don't want to," LaVaughn finds herself in murky ethical waters when Wolff contrives a very big coincidence for her to address. The steady, sympathetic characterizations more than compensate for the unlikely plot twist, however, and the trilogy closes warmly, sagely and, yes, even triumphantly. Ages 14-up. (Jan.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This Full Houseby Virginia Euwer Wolff
LaVaughn has made it through the projects, she’s gottenover heartbreak, she’s grown up, and now she might finally have her ticket to college. She believes that she’s keeping alert to all possibilities. But discoveries she makes during her senior year in high school disturb everything in her small universe. And in an effort to bring together people… See more details below
LaVaughn has made it through the projects, she’s gottenover heartbreak, she’s grown up, and now she might finally have her ticket to college. She believes that she’s keeping alert to all possibilities. But discoveries she makes during her senior year in high school disturb everything in her small universe. And in an effort to bring together people who should love each other, she jeopardizes the one prize she has sought her whole life long.
When do you know whether you’re doing the right thing? What happens when you can’t find a way to make lemonade out of lemons?
Gr 8 Up
The third verse novel finds narrator LaVaughn in her senior year of high school. She is still determined to have a career in the sciences, despite the fact that her underfunded public school has run-down lab equipment, the teens in her neighborhood never consider higher education, and her subtle but persistent belief that those who succeed are somehow fundamentally better than she is. Characters from the previous books are reintroduced. Jolly, the young mother for whom LaVaughn has become a babysitter and near kin, is working on her GED and dating a man who seems willing to stick around. Annie, LaVaughn's hyperreligious childhood friend, has become pregnant by her hypocritical youth group leader. Awkward Patrick, with whom LaVaughn studied science during the summer, earns her jealousy by attending a new school with access to the university's state-of-the-art facilities. LaVaughn also faces a new challenge when she is accepted into Women in Medical Science, a local hospital's rigorous after-school enrichment program for underprivileged girls. Wolff's language is rich and poetic, using scientific words like "tibia" and "deoxyriboneucleic acid" to both intellectual and aesthetic effect. LaVaughn's emotions, from fear to joy to disbelief, are palpable and realistic. The story falters a bit when a major plot contrivance strains credibility and diminishes what is otherwise an inspiring, relatable tale of perseverance, forgiveness, and family.-Megan Honig, New York Public Library
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.11(d)
- Age Range:
- 14 Years
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >