"Girls Like Us" by Gail Giles


TITLE: Girls Like Us

AUTHOR: Gail Giles

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press

PUBLISHED DATE: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-0763662677

PAGES: 224

This book stopped me in my tracks. I listened to this book in one sitting, it was so good. Quincey and Biddy are two reluctant friends who are paired together once they've graduated from their high school special education program. Heartbreaking and hopeful...I think this book has definitely earned spot on my required reading list.

Synopsis

Quincey and Biddy are two girls on the margins. Biddy, abandoned by her mother, is left in the care of an emotionally abusive grandmother who is never short on insults. Quincey lives in a foster home - left developmentally delayed and disfigured after being hit in the face with a brick by her mother's violent boyfriend. Once they've graduated from high school, a concerned teacher places the girls in a work/housing situation where they are to cook and clean for the mayor's wife in exchange of room and board. Quincey is highly judgmental of Biddy, and it's not long before Qunicey has a traumatizing experience that bonds the two young women as friends and survivors.

Voice

This story is told in the alternating voices of Quincey and Biddy. There is an urgency in the simplicity with which they tell these very brutal realities. I was immediately drawn in, and couldn't put the book down!

Style

The style of this book is conversational...it's a southern drawl served with sweet tea and biscuits and gravy! Though I appreciated the southern twang - I can't overlook that for many people southern accents are stigmatized and people tend to equate southern accents with being less intelligent. I know that this is absolutely false - but a part of me is unsure if the narrator was using assumptions already placed on southern accents as a cheap character building technique. As much as I liked the southern accent - I was also disturbed by it.

Setting

It's every small town where everyone knows everyone and is in everyone's business. I don't think the setting was a