Linda Lipko's Reviews > After Tupac and D Foster

After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
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's review
Dec 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: newbery-winner
Read in December, 2011

This 2009 Newbery winner is deserving of accolades and praise. No stranger to awards, Woodson is a recipient of a Caldecott Honor, the ALA Best Book Award, a National Award Finalist, and the Coretta Scott King Award.

While this isn't one of my favorite books by Woodson, it is a gem and I recommend it.

Few can take so many difficult situations and seamlessly pull them together, weaving an incredible tapestry.

When two 11 year old childhood friends meet a stranger who happens to wander into their neighborhood simply because she likes the trees, they embrace the spirit of D Foster. A throw away child from many foster homes, a mother who abandoned her and a roamer, she is unlike them, but also like them in many ways as they long to find their place in the world.

As the three young girls bond, they embrace the music of Tupac. When he is killed, they lament all he had to offer.

When D's mother once again surfaces, she hopes for a new life, a better one, a more stable existence.

The words of Tupac seem to resonate:

"Everyone's got a purpose and it's just that they gotta figure out what it is and then go have it."

Unlike Toni Morrison, Woodson has a marvelous way in which she portrays the black culture as one of bonding, strength, love, spirituality, hope and resilience. And because of this, I am drawn to her many books.

In Woodson's books the grandmothers are the traditional stability. Hard working mother's do their best to inspire and reinforce a set of strong values.

The characters are strong and gentle. They are hard, yet malleable. They are loving, kind, supportive as they struggle with the difficulties life presents.

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