TITLE: Don't Fail Me Now
AUTHOR: Una LaMarche
PUBLISHED DATE: September 1, 2015
This is a heartbreaking story about race, class, poverty, dysfunctional druggie parents...I mean, really - what's not in the book? A zombie apocalpse!!!???
Michelle, the oldest of three - Cass and Denny, is suffering. Her mother, who has a drug problem, is locked up in jail, and she is the sole provider for her younger sister and brother. She's teased at school, completely detached at her part-time job at Taco Bell, and extorted by her pessimistic and resentful Aunt. She recieves a call one day from her a girl supposedly her sister. They share a father who's on hospice and asking them to come to California where he has something to give them. Michelle can hardly believe that her new found sister is white.
It doesn't take Michelle long to decide to pack up her younger sister and brother and drive from Baltimore to California to claim this inheritance. On a whim, Michelle show's up at her sister Leah's school, and invites her to runaway with them. Leah reluctantly agrees, and throws caution to the wind and brings along her step brother Tim.
Michelle, deep in the throws of poverty and having to be responsible when her parents have utterly dropped the ball confront Leah and Tim over their white privilege. Cass, struggling with her own identity issues begins to come into her own, realizing that she identifies as a lesbian and suicidal ideation. Denny is cute. I just wanted to give Denny a hug, a meal, and a ride to school.
(This video has nothing to do with the book, "Don't Fail Me Now" but here are Three Questions with author, Una LaMarche. Enjoy!)
Recommendation: Read it! But keep a box of tissues on deck because this one may be a tear jerker.
Audience: Young Adults (Grades 7 and up)
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