Something Like Hope by Shawn Goodman
Locked in a detention room in a juvenile correction facility, 17 year old Shavonne dreams of a better life for herself and her daughter. Mr. Delpopolo, her new shrink, gets her thinking, which makes her angry; she deals with her physical and emotional pain by being numb. As she continues to see Mr. D., as she calls him, he gradually helps her understand that bad things have happened to her through no fault of her own. Having a crack addict mother, being abused in foster care and being raped not only were not her fault, they were the fault of adults who didn’t protect her, including some of the staff at the facility itself. She also tries to avoid both conflicts and friendships with the other girls, including her own roommate. As Shavonne begins to trust Mr. D., she starts letting in feelings other than anger and thinks about moving toward healing. She faces the dilemma of telling Mr. D her deepest and worst secret, something for which she feels personally responsible.
Shavonne grabbed me with both hands and pulled me into this book! Her character has so much personality and tells her story with so much intensity that I cared about her right away. I can’t tell any more of the plot without giving away surprises and secrets that each reader must learn in the course of reading the book. I can say that I was not at all disappointed in how the author tied all the parts of the plot together at the end.
Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson