Songs of Faith
That summer was a “hot summer, a sad summer, an everybody-going-away-and-leaving-me summer…” for Doreen. Her father has moved to Chicago after the divorce, her best friend moved to the east coast and her brother stopped talking. Somehow, joining in with the rest of the country celebrating the bicentennial just doesn’t feel right. Through it all, Doreen learns about herself and the strength she has inside and she learns to keep her mind and heart open, no matter how things might hurt because you never know what you might miss if you don’t. The major strength is Angela Johnson’s richness and depth when telling a story. You often feel that you are eavesdropping on the characters. However, the story line was somewhat difficult to follow. It is told in first person narrative but the speaker, Doreen, changes subjects so often that it’s hard to keep up. Johnson’s fans, though, will appreciate the storytelling. This would be most appropriate for grades six and seven but not for those students who have trouble reading as they will have great difficulty following the characters. I would give this an overall rating of 2.