I got my hands on an advance copy of this one at work in paperback, quite drawn to the gorgeous cover art. With most of the advanced reader copies, the book covers are usually pretty plain, so that was a plus one. As described, the book is about the journey of a young girl as she slips into the system following her father's disappearance on a cold winter's day in Chicago. Her family is essentially poor financially instead of intellectually, and things fall apart when the main breadwinner vanishes. The story was well written, just not in a style that captivated me. The things I loved the most about this book are definitely the usage of Langston Hughes references and the amount of love shown by and amongst the central characters. I'm not really sure which audience the novel was intended to cater to (teens/young adult? regular adult?) but nonetheless it is quite a good read and an interesting way of reflecting the problem that is not only the systems (both protective services and police forces) in Chicago, but also on a grander scale in every major city.
Now that the book is officially out and published, it's disturbing to think that people REALLY don't believe that these children could be this intelligent, just because of their age or poverty level or WHATEVER. These things mean nothing. My parents don't have university degrees, and I still from a young age was able to communicate with adults. I learned to read and write when I was three, understood the basics of two different languages other than my mother tongue, and could do math. Children are products of their parents, and Early's parents are the best kind to have.
Labels: advance copies, blue balliett, hold fast, ya