Tutoredby Allison Whittenberg
Hakiam Powell and Wendy Anderson were on opposite ends of the spectrum: social spectrum, financial spectrum, opportunity spectrum, you name it. But their divisions never seemed sharper than the moment Hakiam steps into the tutoring center and meets Wendy at the front desk. She looks pretentious and uptight; he looks disheveled and disinterested. But for Wendy,… See more details below
Hakiam Powell and Wendy Anderson were on opposite ends of the spectrum: social spectrum, financial spectrum, opportunity spectrum, you name it. But their divisions never seemed sharper than the moment Hakiam steps into the tutoring center and meets Wendy at the front desk. She looks pretentious and uptight; he looks disheveled and disinterested. But for Wendy, Hakiam's personality is a challenge, and for Hakiam, Wendy's drive, honesty, and caring ways are fascinating.
While their differences remain, with each conversation new light is shed onto the other's situation. Hakiam didn't have a family that cared about him or expected him to go to college and excel. Wendy never had to emotionally detach herself from everything to not worry about the countless deaths of family members, or lack thereof to guide her. Both were in need of someone who would listen without judgment, who didn't know where they were coming from and could focus on the things that really matter.
The politics of ethnicity and class are heavily at play in this work of romantic fiction. Seventeen-year-old Wendy has been raised in a white suburb of Philadelphia by her overprotective father, who fears her exposure to the poor black neighborhoods he left behind. Wendy responds to his blatant stereotyping by becoming a tutor in just such a community, where she meets Hakiam. Newly arrived in the city, he's just the sort of boy her dad fears—he spent his adolescence being shuffled through foster homes and now lives with his cousin and her premature, newborn baby. Predictably, the two initially clash but quickly move past their sparring and become intrigued with one another, to the chagrin of both their families. The chemistry between the pair comes about abruptly, but the strength of this story lies in the dynamic between Wendy and Hakiam and in his experiences with her friends. Secondary characters are, unfortunately, not as well developed—both Wendy's dad and Hakiam's cousin are caricatures with whom readers will not be able to empathize. Ambitious and thought-provoking, if flawed. (Fiction. 12 & up)
- Random House Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
- Age Range:
- 14 Years
Meet the Author
ALLISON WHITTENBERG lives in Philadelphia, PA.
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