When I first started reading this book, I thought ‘Oh no, it’s written in dialect.’ However, Nolan has created such a real character in Janie/LeShaya that I stopped noticing almost right away.
This is a painful read. I have known kids like her, in my teaching life, in my personal life. When children are not loved and cared for by their parents, when they linger in less than ideal foster homes and age beyond adoptability, something’s broken.
Some reviewers have found LeShaya’s endless bad choices to be unbelievable. They are very true to life. When you have always had a home, it can be hard to imagine what it’s like to be home-less and parent-less and to have never had any reason to learn to trust. How can you be a real friend, how can you love someone well, when no one has ever looked after your needs? How can you accept loving care when experience tells you there are nasty strings attached? How can you make good choices when you’ve had no example?
Every child deserves so much more.