What Momma Left Me

by Renee Watson
ages: 10+
First sentence: “I don’t have many good memories of my daddy.”
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Review copy provided by the publisher

Serenity is 13 years old; her brother Danny is 12. And they just watched their their mother violently die.

Starting life over with their grandparents — their mother’s parents — isn’t easy. There’s a new school, new rules at home which include, and all the haunted memories that comes with their mother’s death. On top of that, they suddenly find themselves as PK’s — preacher’s kids, or in this case, grandkids — since their Grandpa is a preacher, and all that entails. Serenity seems to find solace in that, but Danny; let’s just say that Danny’s tendency is to turn out as well as their drug-dealing father.

Let’s just say that this one is very realistic.

Very. Realistic.

Depressingly realistic.

I know there are kids out there who live like this. And kudos to the grandparents who are trying to raise their grandkids right. But. Oh, it was so heartbreaking to read. Heartbreaking that these kids were caught up in adult problems, and going about making the same choices their parents made. Heartbreaking that there are people out there who call themselves parents, and yet never take time to take care of their kids. Heartbreaking that books like this are needed in order to give kids hope that things may turn out all right. Hopefully.

It’s well written enough, with poetry scattered through, drawing on Maya Angelou for strength. The chapter titles were from the Lord’s Prayer, as well, which I thought was a nice touch.

It’s still a depressing book, though.

One thought on “What Momma Left Me

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