This fifth book in the Roosevelt High series centers around Ankiza, an African American teenager who starts dating an Anglo American from her school. Ankiza's stepmother and half sister are Hispanic, and she has many friends from different backgrounds, but her new relationship quickly becomes one of controversy for her friends, family, and classmates. When she receives a threatening letter in her locker, however, Ankiza's family and friends regret their own discriminations and immediately come to her aid. Professor Sonia Gonzalez, the mother of Ankiza's best friend, Maya, also is beginning an interracial relationship, and she forms a panel discussion for students and faculty on tolerance and understanding. This story is narrated alternately by the voices of Ankiza and Professor Gonzalez, but young adult readers will have a hard time identifying with the single mother in her late thirties. The interracial conflicts seem a little forced, with Hispanic Maya and her African American boyfriend both having problems with Ankiza and Professor Gonzalez dating outside their races. There are several Spanish words and phrases used throughout the book, but unlike other titles in the series, no glossary is provided. The racial controversy is pushed throughout the book but is resolved quickly in the last few chapters, just in time for the prom. Heavy handed and flat, this book might be suitable for younger teen readers, but older, more sophisticated teens might be turned off by the forced controversy and unengaging style. VOYA CODES: 2Q 3P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined asgrades 7 to 9). 2000, Arte Pûblico, 160p, $16.95, $9.95 Trade pb. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Elizabeth Prior SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
Gr 7 Up-In this fifth book in the series, Ankiza, who is black, starts dating Hunter, who is white. Her friends and parents, his parents, and other students at Roosevelt High School in Laguna, CA, do not approve. At first, the teen is shocked, and then hurt, confused, and angered by their reactions. It is only when Ankiza gets a nasty, anonymous letter that her friends and family rally around her. The characters are a diverse group and are true to the age group they represent. The author tackles a powerful social issue with compassion and honesty. A good discussion starter with a satisfying ending.-Cathy Coffman, Peoria Public Library, AZ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal