Dreams on Fire
With an incarcerated father and an estranged, drug-addicted mother, Shanequa's dreams of higher education feel like a fantasy. When Shanequa gets the chance to attend a prestigious private prep school, she feels like her dreams might become reality. Shanequa finds it easier to lie to her new friends than tell them the truth about her family. When her lies are found out, and Shanequa strikes back in blind rage, her path changes forever.
* Reviews *
"Using realistic, raw, and powerful poetry that will reach the reluctant reader, Taylor's novel tells a difficult story entirely through the poems of its young protagonist. Effectively uses poetry to tell a story simply and with no frills, and yet ensure honesty flows through every word. A beautiful, empowering choice for a wide spectrum of readers." —Booklist
"America's systemic race and class problems are viscerally rendered in this evocative account. A haunting and honest depiction of adversity and triumph that reveals America's continuing struggle to give equal opportunities to all." —Kirkus
"Through first-person narration, Shanequa describes the daily difficulties she faces. Rich language around dreams and responsibilities abounds, as do opportunities to discuss or ponder telltale signs of true or false friendships and the numbing effects of drugs and alcohol. VERDICT: Battling many forces themselves, young adult readers will be rooting for Shanequa to 'lift off the ground' and find her truth. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED." —School Library Journal