Preteens prove that cultural differences can be overcome in this middle-grade novel about a native Mainer and a Somali girl who form an unlikely and supportive friendship.
Twelve-year-old Jacques's mother has passed away, his father is jobless and drinking again and his grandmother's bridal store is on the verge of going out of business. Plus he's under pressure from a bully to join in some illegal activities. At least Jacques can look forward to the soccer season. After all, he's a shoe-in for captain.
But the arrival of Somali refugees shakes up nearly everything in Jacques's Maine town, including the soccer team. So Jacques is surprised to find himself becoming friends with Kiki, a cheerful and strong-minded Somali immigrant. Despite their many differences they are able to help one another triumph over problems with friends, family and growing up.
"Susan Ross has created a captivating world; the characters are memorable, the setting unusual, and the story affecting, beautifully told. A stunning debut novel."—Patricia Reilly Giff, two-time Newbery Honor-winning author
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