Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Kendra” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,705 ratings  ·  174 reviews
The acclaimed author of TYRELL returns to PUSH with a striking novel about a mother and daughter who are only fourteen years apart, but need to learn to understand each other before it's too late.

Kendra's mom, Renee, had her when she was only 14 years old. Renee and her mom made a deal -- Renee could get an education, and Kendra would live with her grandmother. But now
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Push
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,705 ratings  ·  174 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Kendra
Nov 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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
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 ...more
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Eric Juneau
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
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 ...more
Apr 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 27, 2010 rated it liked it
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. Kendras mom had her at the age of fourteen but she was passed on to her grandmother while Kendras mom continued her education. Every since then Kendras grandmother kept a close eye on her and absolutely dreaded the ...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 ...more
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I thought Coe Booths first book Tyrell was excellent, so Id been waiting for Kendra to arrive at my library. Though I didnt 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. Ill look forward to more books from this author! ...more
Capree Strong
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
loved it. every bit.
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is fiction and its genre is novel. I mean, what do I have now? Nothing. Nothing and no one. I dont even have Renee..All I know is, Im scared. What if both of them told me the same thing? That they don't want me? What do I do then? Because, the truth is, I dont think I can handle hearing that. Starting from age 14 and up because it has a sexual context. The vocabulary is easy. A girl in her 14s, her name is Kendra. She lives her life mostly with her Nana. Her mom, Renee, had Kendra when ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney Johnson
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paula Chase
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book I could relate to. It was both intense and exciting. I want the next book I read to be somewhat like this one. It was as I was expecting it to be, very realistic and intriguing. I sympathized with the characters all throughout until I finished the book.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is crazy and very well detailed !!
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Coe Booths purpose in writing Kendra was to create an interesting storyline where readers can understand what its 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 Booths 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
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 somebodys approval and not having the one person you love the most want you. Just because somebody shows you a little attention doesnt mean they want you for all the right reasons. Kendra learned that the hard way.

Kendra is
Victoria Waddle
Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Kendra is tired of her Nanas 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 couldnt with her daughter Renee, who is Kendras mom. Renee is twenty-eight; Kendra is fourteenjust the age that Renee was when she became Kendras mom.

But Renee really isnt much of a mom to Kendra. Shes left that role for her own mother so that she could pursue her education and her dreamto get out of the
Nov 09, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Deanna Day
Oct 08, 2009 rated it liked it
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,
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
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 ...more
Christine Kloss
May 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 Booths 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 been
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Like Sisters on the Homefront
  • Jason & Kyra
  • Bronx Masquerade
  • Hot Girl
  • Hustlin' (Drama High, #7)
  • Who Am I Without Him?: A Short Story Collection about Girls and Boys in Their Lives
  • Broken China
  • Indigo Summer (Indigo Summer #1)
  • Begging for Change
  • You Don't Even Know Me: Stories and Poems About Boys
  • Messed Up
  • The Fight (Drama High, #1)
  • Shortie Like Mine  (Shortie Like Mine #1)
  • Homeboyz
  • Second Chance (Drama High, #2)
  • Hotlanta (Hotlanta, #1)
  • Courtin' Jayd (Drama High,  #6)
  • The First Part Last (Heaven, #2)
See similar books…

News & Interviews

April is the most hopeful of months, promising warm days and sunshine just around the corner. The weather is a little unpredictable, sure, but tha...
77 likes · 18 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »