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Darkness Before Dawn


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About the Author

Sharon M. Draper is a New York Times bestselling author and recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire, and was most recently awarded the Charlotte Huck Award for Stella by Starlight. Her novel Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and was a New York Times bestseller for over three years. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. Visit her at


Gr 9 Up-Keisha's senior year of high school is quite an ordeal. Her ex-boyfriend has recently committed suicide; a good friend was killed in a car crash; and she is attracted to the new track coach, the principal's college-aged son. When he begins to make advances, Keisha decides that she is mature enough to date this older man. Jonathan, however, turns out to be more than a smooth talker, and attempts to rape her after a romantic date. Readers may be overwhelmed by the soap-opera feel of this issue-laden world of suicide, anorexia, teen models, divorced or dead parents, homelessness, car accidents, and girl power. There's even a romance that Keisha doesn't see coming, but readers will. Although never didactic or preachy, the issues are there to teach a lesson. While slightly unrealistic, the book still may appeal to readers who love page-turners, as Draper has given her characters life by developing relationships and using believable teen-speak.-Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Aloha, OR Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Moving and triumphant."

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