Dime is a young teenager in Newark, New Jersey living in a foster home. Her current foster mom is neglectful at best, more concerned with drinking and her own social life. All Dime wants is someone to love her. One cold day when she is kicked out of the house without a coat when she meets up with L.A. who is nice to her, loans her a coat, gives her something to eat, and introduces her to Daddy. With Daddy she feels warm and loved. She imagines herself as part of his family which is exactly what she wanted. But she didn't realize this family came with a price, prostitution. Once involved she doesn't know how to quit or how to get back to her other life. But when Daddy brings another girl into the stable, Dime makes a decision that may cost her life.
This book is depressing. It is VERY hard to read because though the details seem a million miles away from my life I kept wondering about students at my school who are living in foster care, wondering if such a thing could happen to them. Oh, perish the thought.
Dime isn't the brightest student in her school but she does like reading when given the chance and she finds solace with the pages of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Color Purple thanks to an observant librarian at a public library nearby. In the pages of these books she finds characters who are also struggling, and characters who come to the rescue. There is hope. At one point Dime writes a letter. In it she writes about her hopes and how she just wanted simple things that she never got.
"To be touched gently.Doesn't that list just break your heart? All children deserve these things, they are human rights, yet there are children in our foster care system who don't have these simple things: food, protection, love.
To be seen clearly.
To be part of a family.
To be fed regularly.
To be protected.
To be loved for free."
Oh, it is sad beyond measure.
I wish everyone would read DIME and be called to action but I fear that the majority of readers will be off-put by topic and the whole depressing situation, which is also sad. Read it if you dare. For mature audiences only.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
30 books Summer Reading Challenge
9 / 30 books. 30% done!
Wow, talk about hard hitting. I read another book by this author that also addressed how the foster care for a teen went horribly wrong. It stayed with me long after I read it. I think my students who are into gritty realistic fiction might like this book but I would have to book talk it more to get it moving.ReplyDelete
I was previewing it for possible inclusion onto our Mock Printz list. I won't recommend it. Too difficult to read due to the subject matter.Delete
I hope Dime will be considered. A few years ago books like Speak or Sold might have been considered too difficult. But I think readers have proven they can handle tough subjects when written about beautifully and sensitively.ReplyDelete