After Tupac & D Foster

tupacWoodson’s story is set in 1994, when the anonymous narrator is 11, and Tupac has been shot. Everyone in her Queens neighborhood is listening to his music and talking about him. Meanwhile D, a foster child, meets the narrator and her best friend, Neeka, while roaming around the city by herself. They become close and Tupac’s music becomes a soundtrack for the their friendship as they search together for their “Big Purpose.”  The story ends in 1996 with Tupac’s untimely death and the reappearance of D’s mother, who takes D with her, and out of the narrator’s and Neeka’s lives forever.

After Tupac & D Foster delicately unfolds issues about race and social injustice as the narrator becomes aware of them. The subtlety and depth with which Woodson conveys the girls’ relationships and growing maturity lend this novel both vividness and staying power.  In this urban setting, there are also caring adults and children playing on the street instead of drug dealers on every corner, which is both refreshing and provides a grounding presence in the story and the girls’ lives.  Her poetic language and realistic  street vernacular set the time and tone perfectly and each chapter is a vignette depicting an event in the lives of the girls and evokes a mood while furthering the story. Certainly worth of its 2009 Newbery Honoree designation.

  • Posted by Cori

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.