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on May 7, 2008
Woodson's engrossing story contains a lot of big issues, but the main theme is about friendship, and how unexpected changes come into our lives as we are touched by others.

AFTER TUPAC & D FOSTER is a tension-filled story of how two twelve-year-old girls meet an outsider and become friends with her. "D" is a foster child, and has adopted "Foster" as her last name. Abandoned by her mother, D Foster is searching for something that is missing in her life...perhaps a sense of belonging and permanence. The other two girls begin to explore the city with her, all of them searching for their "Big Purpose" in life. All the girls have their own set of family issues, and their own approach to solving these problems.

All three girls are great fans of the rapper, Tupac Shakur, and are dismayed when he is shot. They examine the meaning of his rap lyrics as they apply to their lives as African-Americans living in Queens, New York, and find that they have much in common with his ideas.

When D's birth mother shows up to reclaim her daughter and take her out of the lives of the other two girls, you can't help but hope that her life will be better this time -- while fearing that it will be a rerun of her past history.

Racism, homosexuality, and incarceration are touched upon in this slice-of-life story. Every teen can find something to relate to in this emotional story of how teens cope with life. There isn't a great deal of suspense, but Ms. Woodson's writing style is absorbing, and makes you wish the story was longer. It does give you cause to reflect on how your own friends and acquaintances have changed your life.

Reviewed by: Grandma Bev
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