Promise Me the Moon

Joyce Annette Barnes, Author Dial Books $15.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-8037-1798-5
Annie Armstrong (star of The Baby Grand, the Moon in July, and Me) still plans to be the first African American woman to land on the moon, but for the time being, she focuses on matters close to home. Resolving her feelings for ex-boyfriend Claude; getting over the death of a much-loved neighbor, Mr. Blackstone; and applying to a prestigious magnet school, McAllen High, are among the challenges Annie meets during her difficult eighth-grade year in 1971. Teased at school for being an ""egg-head,"" reprimanded for her insolence at home, she wallows in self-pity until a whirlwind trip from her Cincinnati home to New York City (to visit brother Matt and his pregnant wife, Clarice) reminds her of the unlimited possibilities ahead. Annie blossoms into a headstrong teenager, sensitive enough to be endearing and rebellious enough to be interesting. Some readers may feel that her struggles end too easily (Annie snags a new boyfriend on the rebound, manages to get into McAllen High despite her initial rejection, and receives an inheritance to pay for her education). Others, however, will view the heroine's final strokes of good fortune as a just reward for her courage and effort. As warm and involving as its predecessor. Ages 10-14. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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