Shoogy left home in a hurry and had to come back for the box of jeans that someone left out front for her. She just couldn't take the inauthenticity of her life in her parents' world. When she left, she found her way to a pair of eyes that had intrigued her years before. These eyes were kind and saw more in her than her family ever had. The eyes belong to Curtis. Together they work out their struggles to make sense of things and they fall in love. There is unspoken acceptance and understanding. Shoogy's mother hopes she will one day come home but Shoogy knows she doesn't belong there and she and Curtis are trying to find where they do belong. For Curtis it looks as though he may belong in Iraq. It will be his second tour of duty and the nightmares from the first tour still linger for Shoogy's ears only. Shoogy watches him and considers the reality that is war beyond what the well-dressed cheerleading distanced passersby may believe. As Shoogy moves through the story, you can hear her heart beat and feel her pulse race as she feels so deeply the price of war. A tender soul created by the gifted pen of Angela Johnson with her sensitivity, empathy and deep understanding of struggle, pain and the importance of finding your own way and your best self.
128 pages 978-0689873867 Ages 13 and up
Keywords: African American, African American author, diversity, diverse books, trilogy, coming of age, 13 year old, 14 year old, 15 year old
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
Also in this trilogy: Heaven (Book 1); The First Part Last (Book 2) **************
After Heaven and The First Part Last, three-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Angela Johnson concludes her acclaimed trilogy with a poignant tale of finding where you belong and who you belong with.
Shoogy left home with all her jeans still in the washer because she couldn’t think of a reason to stay. She’s not sure where she belongs, until she meets Curtis. Curtis knows for certain where he does not want to be and that’s to be back in the army. He is happy to be in Ohio, where it is quiet and he can spend time with Shoogy. But when Curtis gets orders to return to Iraq, will belonging with each other be enough to keep Shoogy and Curtis together? Angela Johnson takes us back to Heaven, Ohio in this bittersweet tale of first love found and lost.---from the publisher