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In this groundbreaking novel, Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia uses her vividly realistic voice to highlight an often taboo practice that affects millions of girls around the world every year, and to explore a perspective not often depicted in YA fiction.
Even though they were born in different countries, Akilah and Victoria are true best friends. But Victoria has been acting strange ever since she returned from her summer in Nigeria, where she had a special coming-of-age ceremony. Why does proud Victoria, named for a queen, slouch at her desk and answer the teacher's questions in a whisper? And why won't she laugh with Akilah anymore?
Akilah's name means "intelligent," and she is determined to find out what's wrong. But when she learns the terrible secret Victoria is hiding, she suddenly has even more questions. The only problem is, they might not be the kind that have answers.
Previously available only as an ebook, this remarkable novel is now back in print!
About the Author
Rita Williams-Garcia's Newbery Honor Book, One Crazy Summer, was a winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award, a National Book Award finalist, the recipient of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and a New York Times bestseller. The two sequels, P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama, were both Coretta Scott King Author Award winners and ALA Notable Children’s Books. Her novel Clayton Byrd Goes Underground was a National Book Award finalist and winner of the NAACP Image Award for Youth/Teen Literature. Rita is also the author of five other distinguished novels for young adults: Jumped, a National Book Award finalist; No Laughter Here, Every Time a Rainbow Dies (a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book), Fast Talk on a Slow Track (all ALA Best Books for Young Adults); and Blue Tights. Rita Williams-Garcia lives in Jamaica, New York, with her husband and has two adult daughters. You can visit her online at www.ritawg.com.
“This exquisitely written short novel tackles an enormous and sensitive subject… Unapologetic, fresh and painful.”
— Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)
“Combines a richly layered story with accurate, culturally specific information ..... [a] skillfully told, powerful story.”
— ALA Booklist (Starred review)