Caprice by Coe Booth

Published by Scholastic

Summary:  Caprice has just finished a summer program at the prestigious Ainsley International School and has done well enough there to be offered a full scholarship for eighth grade through high school.  Returning home to her friends and family in Newark for the last few days of summer, she’s torn between taking this amazing opportunity or finishing middle school with the people she loves.  Complicating her decision are flashbacks of memories from when she was four years old that are increasingly difficult to ignore.  When Caprice’s grandmother in Baltimore gets sick, her family returns to the house where she spent her first few years, and she is forced to confront the trauma that happened there.  As the week draws to a close, Caprice is finally able to admit to her parents that she was molested by her uncle and can begin the healing process that will allow her to make the right decisions about her future.  Includes a note about resources for survivors of abuse.  256 pages; grades 5-8.

Pros:  This compelling story drew me in right from the beginning.  The main narrative takes place over the course of a week, with the author skillfully weaving in Caprice’s poetry and flashbacks of memory to lead to a satisfying ending.  The topic of sexual abuse is handled in a way that’s appropriate for middle grade readers.

Cons:  The end note about resources was pretty short.

July 4, 2022 at 02:57PM Janet Dawson