Title: Between Sisters
Author: Adwoa Badoe
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Concepts: poverty, wealth, jobs, child schooling and work
Review: Sixteen-year-old Gloria Bampo worked hard to help her parents make ends meet, especially since her father had lost his job and her mother had begun to struggle more with poor health. They shared a modest compound with other families in Accra, Ghana's large capital city, and for several years Gloria had sold fruit along the street when she was not in school to earn a little extra money. Her dreams of doing better for herself, though, came to an abrupt halt when she failed thirteen out of fifteen subjects on her final exams, forcing her to drop out of school.
Gloria had little choice but to accept a domestic help position that her parents arranged with a relative named Christine, an affluent doctor who needed someone to care for her son, cook, and clean house. The position seemed like a win-win situation until Gloria allowed herself to get caught up in some unfortunate situations that threatened not only her new-found happiness, but also her working relationship with Christine, who had become like an older sister.
Between Sisters delves into some difficult issues -- including HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, poverty, and unpaid domestic work - in a way that will engage young adult readers as they consider the main character's naivete in the face of these challenging situations. The book gets high marks for the careful way in which these social and economic themes are woven together, with a liberal dose of Ghanaian culture sprinkled throughout.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children