Kiki's world is turned upside down when her partially deaf mother loses custody of her children, sending Kiki and her siblings into foster care. After running away with a friend, the two run straight into the arms of a pedophile in disguise, who lures the two girls into a life far too mature for their twelve-year-old minds. Held in captivity for months, the girls are finally set free when a neighbor exposes them. But what should have been a happy moment for Kiki actually sends her on a life path that quickly spirals out of control.
In this gritty follow up to 2010's Damaged, DuPree tells the story of Shakira, known as KiKi. Starting near the end of the story and working back, the author makes it clear that KiKi will eventually extricate herself from difficult circumstances before illustrating them in heartbreaking detail. The novel opens with an unexpected reunion between KiKi and fellow former foster child Nausynika, or Nausy, now working with at-risk youth. The two had landed in the same foster home when Washington, D.C., social workers split up KiKi's family after cops found drugs that were hidden in a sibling's diaper bag by her mom's boyfriend. But after the middle-school girls are caught exploring each other sexually, they run away rather than risk being separated. In no-holds-barred flashbacks, readers live the soul-shattering experiences that follow--including prostitution, drug use, incest, rape, and physical abuse. DuPree skillfully describes the after-effects while demonstrating KiKi's strength and courage and her simple desire for a normal life. A riveting book that should be required reading for understanding at-risk youth. Agent: Victoria Sanders & Associates. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Grand Central Publishing
October 23, 2012
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