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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,627 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
As she did in her debut, award-winning novel "Tyrell," Booth creates the vivid voice of a teen trying to find her place in the world, even though nothing (not family, not friendship, not sex, not love) is what she thought it would be.
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Turtleback Books (first published October 1st 2008)
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I don't recall the last time I *felt* for a character like I felt for Kendra. Her needs are so on the surface, yet the adults in her life either don't see them or just ignore them. She's well aware that acting out sexually isn't helping, but she can't seem to stop herself. Her friend Adonna is caught up in her own drama. A nice boy likes her, but she can't seem to find it in her to find him attractive. She is paying the penalty for her mother becoming pregnant at 14, and is finding herself in a ...more
Jan 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kendra has been living with her Nana for her whole life while her mother Renee has been working toward a doctorate. Kendra's mother had her when she was just 14 years old, and Nana wanted to make sure that having a child so early early would not prevent Renee from having a successful life. While that goal was met, it did create a rift between Kendra and Renee that left the daughter feeling abandoned and unloved.

Nana has done everything she can to shield Kendra from making the same mistakes Renee
Dec 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-read
This YA books is about a young, highly intelligent black female, living in NYC, whose mother had her at 14 years of age. Kendra lives with he4r grandmother while her mother attends school. As the novel opens, her mother has just completed her PhD at Princeton. Kendra has held a dream that after her mother completes her schooling, the two of them will live together in harmony -- that then her mother will want her in her life. Her father is also a part of her life, although he has never left the P ...more
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I stopped reading it in the middle. I found it slow-moving, and the main character unsympathetic. Where are the positive books where teen girls embrace their sexuality and release themselves from the confines of what they've been taught by society?
Katrina Burchett
Kendra Williamson is fourteen years old and she attends North Bronx High School for Arts and Communications. She loves to draw houses and floor plans; a skill that will lead to a promising career in the future. She's not focusing a whole lot on future plans, though. The main thing that's on her mind, what she wants more than anything, is to spend more time with her mother, Renee.
Kendra lives with her Nana, Valerie. Renee, who gave birth to Kendra in ninth grade, missed ten years of her daughter
Eric Juneau
In the ghetto, if a boy does anal sex on you, it means he's ready for a relationship.

This feels like "Pride and Prejudice" in the PJ's. It reads like a generic YA romance but with the trappings of so many early 90's "gangsta" movies. Kind of. The main conflict is that Kendra's mother is back after her post-graduate degree, and Kendra's hoping she'll finally take her away from the neighborhood and the strict-ass grandmother who's been raising her for sixteen years.

But the bigger crux of the book
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This is an emotional, difficult read. It is so real, it's raw. Booth doesn't let up. This is chock full of confusion, betrayal, abandonment issues and strained relationships. Renee, Kendra's mother, is intelligent,determined and focused. When it comes to school, Renee excels. Parenting- it's a role she's never wanted and she's avoided as long as she can using education as her excuse. Kendra, is a typical teen overwhelmed by her budding sexuality, her longing to be wanted and the anger and resent ...more
I liked this book because it kept me interested in it. What kendra went through in this book was alot for her to handle, but she got through it and stuck it out. I didnt like this book because Kendra's grandmother didnt give her any freedom at all. She always watched over her 24-7 , like i understand that's ur grand daughter and all but she's like her mother so give her some space. The main charcter is a girl named kendra who is living currently with her grandmother because her mother can't take ...more
I think that Coe Booth, the author of the book Kendra, did a very good job getting into the mind of a fourteen-year old female going through the “process” of boys and puberty. I loved the way she expresses some issues that families have, especially within the African-American community. Kendra’s mom had her at the age of fourteen but she was passed on to her grandmother while Kendra’s mom continued her education. Every since then Kendra’s grandmother kept a close eye on her and absolutely dreade ...more
If your parents are like really over protective of you and they are always ridding you about your grades and an stuff and to stay focus..then this would be a good book for your. Because in this book it is about a girl named kendra and she lives with her grandma. Her grandma is like a control freek. as soon as she geets out of school she has to come straight home and if she dosent tell her grandmother that she is leaving then she will get very mad. But eventually she stops putting up with her gra ...more
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I thought Coe Booth’s first book Tyrell was excellent, so I’d been waiting for Kendra to arrive at my library. Though I didn’t like Kendra as well, I still think that Booth does an amazing job of capturing the thoughts and feelings of a teenage girl with unusual family circumstances growing up in the Bronx. I’ll look forward to more books from this author!
Capree Strong
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aug 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
3 1/2 stars. Would like to give it 4 but I found the ending a little too happy and unrealistic. Will still recommend without hesitation to teens.
loved it. every bit.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paula Chase
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no more interesting dynamic than that of a grandparent raising a grandchild while that child's parent is still able to come in and out of the picture. Kendra has all the baggage involved when you love the one who raised you but long for the biological parent to step up. Coe's careful portrayal of Kendra's relationships will hit many of the reader's emotional buttons.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coe Booth’s purpose in writing Kendra was to create an interesting storyline where readers can understand what it’s like to have a complicated life while experiencing relationships with guys for the first time. The circumstances under which people live are all diverse and Booth’s purpose was to write something in a different light: from a girl who grew up in the projects of New York without a mother being able to guide and love her along the way. This book impacts the audience as it really makes ...more
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coe Booths Purpose of writing Kendra is to let his readers know what it feels like to have nobody, but by having nobody you eventually have somebody. Kendra is packed with morals and things to learn from. It gives you the experience of what it feels like always having to have somebody’s approval and not having the one person you love the most want you. Just because somebody shows you a little attention doesn’t mean they want you for all the right reasons. Kendra learned that the hard way.

Victoria Waddle
Kendra is tired of her Nana’s constrictive rules about the way she dresses and whether she can talk to boys. Her Nana is tired of having to take care of Kendra and hopes to avoid what she couldn’t with her daughter Renee, who is Kendra’s mom. Renee is twenty-eight; Kendra is fourteen—just the age that Renee was when she became Kendra’s mom.

But Renee really isn’t much of a mom to Kendra. She’s left that role for her own mother so that she could pursue her education and her dream—to get out of the
Nov 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Booth, Coe. 2008. Kendra.

There's nothing really different about today.

I loved Coe Booth's first book, Tyrell. I didn't love Kendra as much. But that's not to say I didn't like it. Kendra is fourteen, and in the eyes of her grandmother "Nana" doomed to repeat her mother's mistakes. Kendra's mom had her when she was fourteen. It has been Nana raising her all these years. And as much as Nana loves Kendra, she doesn't want to have to raise another child. Perhaps Nana doesn't know how to best communi
Oct 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Realistic fiction, family, grandma/mom/daughter relationships, identity, friendship, communication, teen pregnancy.

I absolutely loved Tyrell, Coe Booth's first novel, so was looking forward to reading Kendra. Interestingly Tyrell shows up as a very minor character in the last chapter of Kendra.

Renee, Kendra's mom, had her when she was 14 years old. Nana has been taking care of Kendra ever since while Renee goes to school and figures out her life. Kendra dreams of living with her mom some day, b
So...OMG, Kendra is basically "My So Called Life" set in the ghetto (but MSCL is much, much, MUCH better). I didn't even make the connection until I was attempting to describe the plot to a coworker who hadn't read it and that was the first thing she said. And she is so very right! Think about it: The main character, Kendra, is basically an innocent good girl who becomes obsessed with her crush on the resident Bad Boy... who then pressures her into doing some mature things. Kendra's best friend ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 9th grade and up
Since Kendra's mom had her when she was only 14 herself, Kendra has been raised by her strict Nana and hoped every year for her mom Renee to come back for her. Renee has just gotten her PhD and a job at a college, but has no intentions of taking Kendra. Kendra craves attention, Nana lives in fear that Kendra will repeat her mother's mistakes, and Kendra's best friend Adonna (also her aunt) shows her up in every way. A nice boy, Darnell, confesses to liking Kendra, but all her emotional (and horm ...more
Christine Kloss
May 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jessica-s-class
Best Books for Young Adults: Controversial Topic

This is a very deep book and really demonstrates that teenagers are having to face very adult issues such as teenage parenting, a divided household and teenage sex.

Kendra is a 14 who lives with her Grandmother. Kendra's mother had her when she was 14 and is out living her life and doesn't make any effort to connect with her daughter and be the parent that Kendra so desperately want. Kendra ends up loosing her virginity at 14 and is forced to face
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cindy Lucas
English One- Section 4
November 4, 2010
Ms. Valentino

In this remarkable book, Coe Booth brings her character to life once again. The book “Kendra” once again shows Coe Booth’s talents as a writer. “Kendra” comes from the well-known publishing company “Push”. She has also written “Tyrell”, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was also named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a New York Public Library Book for the Teenage. Coe Booth writes books based on experiences she has
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book that i read. The characters was Adonna, kendra. They were the main character that was in the story that they was talking about the most. The setting was set in New York. This was a non-fiction story and it was well written by Coe Booth. The conflict in the story was that Kendra the main character was getting older and just getting use to the boys thing meaning sex. She didn't have a mother to tell her how these boys were out their. Then she made a stupid decision by just h ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young_adult
Fantastic read by Coe Booth. I loved her previous book, Tyrell, and was not in the least disappointed by Kendra. It seems like there are a lot of books/movies that showcase the perspective of teen moms, but less that focus on the perspective of the children OF teen parents. In this book, readers follow the emotional ups and downs of Kendra's complicated world. Her mother was 14 years old when she had Kendra, and she has essentially been hands off with Kendra's care. Kendra lives with her grandmo ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kendra deals with issues that many teens may identify with, like being a teen parent, friendship, sex and family drama. Kendra's mom had her when she was 14 and now Kendra is 14. Her grandma, who she lives with, is determined to make sure Kendra doesn't get knocked up like her mother. Which means Nana is always checking what type of clothes Kendra is wearing, wondering why Kendra came home from school a little late and more. Kendra's mom has been gone for several years working on getting her doc ...more
Shelby Miller
** Spoilers **

Kendra was a good book, but parts of it left me feeling a little disturbed like a TMI feeling. I know that the book is about sexual discovery and such but I feel the author could have spared us some images.

One major part of the plot was deciding between Nashawn and Darrell when the obvious answer should have been Darrell because he was a nice guy who wanted to treat her right. But like most teenagers, she wanted Nashawn because he was hotter and honestly she liked doing naughty th
Sep 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fiction
A Harlem teenager has problems with feeling as if she belongs anywhere. She was born when her mother was only fifteen and has always lived with her grandmother. Her mother has been gone away at college for as long as she remembers but she has just graduated with her PhD. Both Kendra and her grandmother are looking forward to Kendra moving out and living with her Mother. Kendra's mother, however, doesn't seem to have any feelings of responsibility toward her and is looking at being free of respon ...more
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