Hang in There
a lot of dark stuff going down in the opening pages of this book. Don't believe
us? Try this: (1) We know someone gets hanged; (2) we learn about Jimmi's time
overseas watching a little girl get blown up; (3) Fatima sneaks into the
country illegally and has to find work under the radar; and (4) Mik is
hearing-impaired and mocked at school. Yep, that's pretty dark. We get a bunch
of problems in the beginning that we're hoping will resolve by the end of the
makes paper angels for some kids at the VA hospital and gives one to Jimmi,
which is the start of their friendship together. What's more important? It's
also the beginning of Fatima's relationship with Mik. Together, these girls
break down stereotypes and help one another come out of their shells—Fatima
encourages Mik to get new hearing aids, and Mik allows Fatima to trust someone
again. The book might start out dark, but with these friendships, everyone
officially has something to lose.
really pick up when Fatima goes with Mik and her family to get immigration
papers and pave the way for her sister to come to America. At first, Fatima
doesn't want to go, but Mik convinces her to let them help her out, and Fatima finally
accepts. The only catch is that Fatima has to stay on the DL until her papers
come through. We know as soon as the immigration guy warns her to stay out of
trouble that something's bound to go wrong.
just like when our moms warn us not
to eat the last cookie. We just know that somehow, we're going
to end up with a few crumbs on our shirt and an empty plate in our hand. Except,
you know, higher stakes.
A Girl on a Mission
falling action heads our way when Jimmi stands up for Mik and the mob attacks
him. Fatima comes to his rescue, and the hanging is over before we know what
hit us. The pace of this section picks up so we go through it pretty quickly
with our hearts pounding in our chests—and they skip a beat when an immigration
officer comes and arrests Fatima. It turns out morals and guts mean nothing
when it comes to where you get to live, and she's taken to the detention center,
ready for deportation.
No Lady Liberty
end, Fatima is sent back to Africa without ever seeing the Statue of Liberty up
close (unless you count from the plane on the trip back home). Mik is down in the
dumps over losing her friend, but she finally decides to use her new hearing
aids. They're not the most comfortable, but she's sure she'll get used to them.