LaVaughn is an intelligent girl that is trying to get by her everyday routine of metal detectors at school in a rough neighborhood. Her father passed away when she was a young age, and she lives with her mother. She has made a decision to leave this place and be the first to go to college, while she baby-sits two children for money. If her grades slip, she will not be able to go to college. While her two childhood best friends, Myrtle and Annie are becoming more distant and closer to God, she ends up falling in love with her friend Jody.
LaVaughn is a girl who is trying to understand and figure out her life. While she writes in free verse, she explains all her thoughts and emotions in simplicity.
~Sarah T., Class of ’13
Culture is different for everyone in the world. I think culture is way of life, following in someone’s footsteps or a tradition passed down. Like yours and mine and so is Nina’s, the main character in “Among the Betrayed” by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Nina gets captured by the population police and is sent to the prison, where she soon is told by the “Hating man” to betray Percy, Matthias, and Alia. She considers it but she has a limited amount of time to do so before the three kids and herself is killed. Then she gets a chance to escape after Mack gets poisoned. Nina questions herself on whether to break out of the prison alone or to go with the three kids she supposed to be betraying. “If Nina left on her own, without a single look back, she’d be sending Percy, Matthias, and Alia to their death” (Haddix 70). Nina does not know if she’s doing the right thing by helping these kids and herself by escaping the prison and out to freedom but she takes that chance.
To be able to trust anyone in her situation would be hard. I know I would be confused on my part whether to choose myself or others. Many people have their own ways of living and making decisions and told by peers or family on what to do. I was always told to trust your instincts and do what is right. In this scenario, it would take me a while to figure out what to do, but being able to trust three kids you know nothing about, would make you think just to go on and save yourself. Nina’s culture is different from mine because she has no one but herself as of now and I have my family and friends to look up to and be able to get help. Nina thinks back on her aunt and what she had because she doubts she is going to see them again. What would you have to lose at this point anyways?
Renee H., Class of ’13
Raven, a seventeen year old girl, had a lot going for her in life. She had dreams of finishing high school, and planned on going to college shortly after. All that changed when Smokey, her baby, came along. Raven, a rising senior at the time, was forced to drop out of school to take care of Smokey. Raven is struggling, while having to dealing with hardships of being a single mother. She can’t even get a decent job because she doesn’t have a high school education. She relies on the support of her mother Gwen, her best friend Aisha, and her sister Dell. Dell realizes the pain and struggles her sister is going through because she had gone through the same thing about 5 years earlier. Dell, trying to be a loving sister suggests a spelling bee. The winner of the spelling bee receives a full 4 year scholarship to college. Raven, apprehensive at first, decides to do it. During her studying process, her sons’ father comes back into the picture. Check the book out to see if she won, and trust me this book is a page turner. You won’t want to put the book down. I would recommend it to just about anyone!
Sydney R., Class of ‘13
Andre is a 18 year old boy who loves to write and play basketball. His dream is to become a famous writer. Everything is going his way when he’s asked to write an article for a local magazine about racism. Andre feels a little out of place when asked to write it. He thinks that he was picked because of his African-American heritage. But aside from his feelings, Andre writes the article and it is a big hit. Everyone loves the article; he got letters and phone calls left and right. Just as everything is going all good for Andre, everything suddenly goes in a downward spiral for him. Read it to find out what happens. This book his an emotional roller coaster. I definitely suggest it to anyone looking for a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Robby B., Class of ’13