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April 16, 2014

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Pick of the Day: My Book of Life by Angel

star Pick of the Day: My Book of Life by Angelmy book of life by angel Pick of the Day: My Book of Life by AngelLEAVITT , Martine. My Book of Life by Angel. 244p. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-374-35123-6; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-374-35124-3.
Gr 9 Up–A 16-year-old caught up in a life of drugs and prostitution finds the strength to protect a younger girl in this lyrical novel in verse. Angel describes how her pimp, Call, lured her from her family with promises and “candy,” the drug her body craves even as she tries to resist it, and onto street corners in Vancouver, where she struggles to earn enough money to please him. Angel worries about a friend who has disappeared–there are rumors of a serial killer preying on prostitutes, though the police seem unconcerned. In simple but evocative language, Angel takes readers into her world and makes them understand how she fell into Call’s clutches. But when he brings home an 11-year-old, Angel realizes that she must risk her life to fight back. Leavitt deftly tackles a difficult subject without a hint of melodrama or voyeurism. Angel’s story could belong to any teen on the streets, though her voice is wonderfully unique. She sees the human side of everyone she meets, even the johns who choose her because she looks even younger than she is. Despite her circumstances, she never loses hope. Reluctant readers looking for a gritty story that is also a quick read will be swept up in this one, as will anyone who appreciates novels in verse. This is a powerful book that will leave readers wishing they could hear more of Angel’s gripping story.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library

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  1. [...] School Library Journal (starred): “A 16-year-old caught up in a life of drugs and prostitution finds the strength to protect a younger girl in this lyrical novel in verse . . . Reluctant readers looking for a gritty story that is also a quick read will be swept up in this one, as will anyone who appreciates novels in verse. This is a powerful book that will leave readers wishing they could hear more of Angel’s gripping story.” [...]

  2. [...] LEAVITT, Martine. My Book of Life by Angel. Farrar, 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374351236. Life on the streets, with all the struggle, soul, and poetry.  (SLJReview) [...]