Caprice cover
Caprice by Coe Booth

By Coe Booth
Scholastic, 2022
256 pages

Ages 10-13

Twelve-year-old Caprice, Black, is back in Newark after attending a summer program at Ainsley International School in upstate New York. She loved the school and the kids she met, but she missed her best friend, Nicole, and the community center in Newark that’s the center of her out-of-school social life, and where she’s advocating to start a woman’s group for girls. It makes deciding whether to accept the scholarship to attend Ainsley full-time hard—so hard she doesn’t tell Nicole about the offer. But it’s not the only secret she’s keeping. Her last night at Ainsley, a boy kissed Caprice without consent, and the feeling of powerlessness has brought up memories she’s worked hard to ignore: She’s never told anyone her uncle sexually abused her when she was little. Caprice and her mom were living with her grandma when the abuse took place and now her grandma is ill, further complicating Caprice’s feelings. The complexities of the plot—around the abuse, but also around family and friendship, too—and intense emotions are masterfully handled in this story with layers of revelation—for readers and for Caprice and other characters. For Caprice, that revelation provides her with deeper understanding of the past, including how her innocence was manipulated. Speaking her truth marks the beginnings of getting help, and healing. Nuanced characters also distinguish this affecting, ultimately hopeful story. ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center