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

My Book of Life by Angel

by Martine Leavitt

Published by Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012
246 pages
ISBN: 978𢠥74-351236

Age 15 and older

Sixteen-year-old Angel is living with manipulative Call, who offered attention, physical affection, and a bottomless supply of crack after her mother抯 death. Now Angel is turning tricks for Call on a Vancouver street corner. Then Call shows up with eleven-year-old Melli, and Angel knows she can抰 stand by and watch him destroy her life. Determined to save Melli if not herself, she stops using crack, suffering mightily from withdrawal, and bargains with Call to earn the money of two girls each night, as long as he won抰 force Melli to start working. Martine Leavitt抯 fearless journey into Angel抯 dark world is written as a novel in verse in Angel抯 quietly haunting voice. Chapter headings are taken from Paradise Lost, a book that one of Angel抯 customers has her read and discuss with him. The story is powerful, the writing affecting and compelling, and Leavitt抯 afterword, about a serial killer who targeted women and girls on the streets of Vancouver during the 1980s and 1990s while police failed to vigilantly pursue the crimes, is heartbreaking and enraging. (In the novel, Angel抯 friend Serena has recently disappeared and rumors and fear abound.) But there is also, before that end, Angel抯 triumph as she outsmarts Call, gets Melli to safety, and takes the first steps toward reclaiming her life.  © 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