Kendra by Coe Booth
Kendra is fourteen years old, the same age her mother was when she had Kendra. Now, for the first time, it seems that her mom is going to be a presence in her life. Kendra has been raised by her granmother while her mom continued her education and has remarkably just earned a doctoral degree. Now with her mom looking for a teaching position in the city, Kendra is certain that she will soon be able to move out of her grandmother’s house and in with her mom.
But that doesn’t seem to be in her mother’s plan, especially when her mom rents a tiny studio apartment and seems to have more time for her boyfriend than for Kendra. But Kendra can barely stand the oppressive vigilance of her grandmother, who is determined that no boy will derail Kendra’s life – no way will she be get pregnant!. Of course, Kendra falls hard for an older boy at school and is unable to resist his sexual advances. Will family history repeat itself, or can Kendra learn from her mom’s choices?
As she did in her first book, Tyrell, Coe Booth hones in on an common but undertold story and crafts it with sharp dialog and believable characters. Kendra’s struggles to find her way though complex family entanglements and adolescent desires are compelling and believable and should attract many readers. (JS)