Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Hazen, Lynn E. 2008. Shifty.

Here was a novel that surprised me. The cover didn't necessarily show much promise that I'd love it. And if it hadn't been nominated in the Cybils YA category, I might have missed this one. And that would have been wrong. Because I enjoyed this one. I did. The characters are flawed--very human--but the narrator, Soli, (a.k.a Shifty or Solomon) won me over...and quite quickly at that. He is a fifteen year old guy who is doing the best that he can. He's been in the foster care system for a while now--since he was a preschooler essentially--and it hasn't always treated him fairly. But the place he's at now...is the best he's ever known. And he'll do almost anything to stay there. Martha, his foster mom, may not be good at sticking to all the rules...but she sure does have a heart of gold. Soli isn't her only foster child. There is also Sissy and Chance. (Yes, those are their nicknames.) Chance is a baby that was born drug-addicted.

What can I say about this family? I cared. Martha. Soli. Sissy. Their story engaged me in a way that I wasn't expecting. Once I picked this one up, I didn't want to put it down again.

Other reviews: The Ya, Ya, Yas;
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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