A Library of the School of EducationDPIUW-Madison School Of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonUW-Madison LibraryUW-Madison Catalog
About the CCBC
Authors and Illustrators
Recommended Books for Children and Young Adults
CCBC Calendar and Events
CCBC Podcasts
CCBC Publications
Intellectual Freedom

Support the CCBC
Support the CCBC
Are you a...K-12 TeacherLibrarianEarly Childhood Care ProviderUW Student / Faculty

Begging for Change

by Sharon G. Flake

Published by Jump at the Sun / Hyperion, 2003
235 pages
ISBN: 0-7868-0601-X

Ages 12 - 15

Everything seems such a struggle to teenager Raspberry Hill. She and her mother are no longer homeless, but every step forward, like having an apartment, has its downside--in this case, a threatening young neighbor who puts Raspberry's mother in the hospital. When Raspberry, who is always looking for ways to make money, sees a wad of bills in her friend Zora's purse, she takes the money. After all, everything is so easy for Zora, whose father is a doctor. But nothing is the same afterward. Zora doesn't trust her, and wants Raspberry to tell their friends and family what she's done. Meanwhile Raspberry's luck--rarely good in her opinion--seems to spiral downward. When Zora accuses Raspberry of being just like Raspberry's father--who steals some of Raspberry's hard-earned money (to support his crack cocaine habit), Raspberry aches at the thought it might be true. Sharon Flake's first-person narrative is alive with the words and feelings of a young African American teen trying to make sense of herself and the people around her--good people trying their best to live a good life--in this novel that underscores how challenges both within and beyond one's own control, from personal choices to race and class prejudice, can make the struggle for a better life hard. Strong family, friendships and community ties that often sustain but sometimes challenge Raspberry and her mother form the backdrop of this moving and powerful novel. (MS; Nov 10) 2003 Cooperative Children's Book Center

book cover
Book of the Week

In accordance with the UW-Madison Accessibility Policy, this site makes every effort to comply with the World Wide Web standards defined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508, specifically subsections 1194.22 and subsection 1194.31. If you need additional resources or have any questions or concerns about this site, please contact the site administrator for more information.
UW crest