2009 Honor Book
"When D Foster walks into Neeka and her best friend's lives, their world opens up. D doesn't have a "real" mom constantly telling her what to do, and the girls envy her independance. But D wants nothing more than to feel connected, and the three girls form a tight bond - and a passion for the music of Tupac Shakur. D's the only one who understand Tupac's songs best, and through her, his lyrics become more personal for all of them.
After Tupac is shot the first time, the girls are awed by how he comes back stronger than ever. And seeing how Tupac keeps on keeping on helps when Neeka's brother is wrongly sent to jail and D's absent mom keeps disappointing. But by the time Tupac is shot again, the girls have turned thirteen and everything's changed, except their belief in finding their Big Purpose."
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the bonds between the three girls and the bonds of family illustrated in this book. The story also illustrates how strongly music can affect one's life.
Neeka's brother, who was wrongly accused of a crime and imprisoned, is openly gay and it was nice to see how, although his family may not have approved of his lifestyle, they still accepted him for who he was, and showed him unconditional love.