B. A. Binns is the eldest of five children who grew up in Chicago’s Southside. After her parents divorced, she was forced to assume an adult role in her family. She has degrees in Biochemistry and Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, Michigan State University, Roosevelt University, and DePaul University. You can visit her at her website, http://www.babinns.com/ ; Her blog: harperwriterstogether.blogspot.com; And twitter: twitter.com/barbarabinns
Chicago High School senior David Albacore is dealing with major upheaval after his father murders his mom. David blames himself for not saving her that night; after being injured in a basketball game, he was given strong painkillers and slept through the shooting. In the terrible aftermath, he changes his name and moves to a tough new inner-city Chicago high school, where he and his sisters Barney and Linda move in with their aunt. With their mother gone and their father in jail, David tries his best to take care of his sisters. But when, after getting in too many fights, he is given the choice to either join the basketball team or be expelled, he chooses basketball, even though it cuts into the after-school construction job that he uses to supplement his aunt’s income. As David ponders trying for a basketball scholarship or keeping his construction job, Aunt Edie’s stroke eliminates most of David’s options. He can keep his family together by working full time, or follow his mom’s dream of college, which would send Barney into foster care
This compelling story gives authentic voice to the social politics of teens, the long-term consequences of domestic violence, and a maturing teen’s need to differentiate the expectations he has of himself from those even the adults he respects have of him. This is a good group discussion book that offers much to engage both male and female readers, readers of color, and teachers as well as students.
"Tautly written, gripping and realistic, the strength of this story comes from the author's refusal to take shortcuts or make up a traditional happy ending, but to let a true story twist, turn, and play out to its realistic, unromanticized, satisfying conclusion."
--- Tanita S. Davis, Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of Mare's War