cover image Between Madison and Palemetto

Between Madison and Palemetto

Jacqueline Woodson. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $13.95 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-385-30906-6

Completing the trilogy begun with Last Summer with Maizon and Maizon at Blue Hill , Woodson revisits her heroines Margaret and Maizon as their close friendship is newly tested. Undergoing the transformations of adolescence, they also find their Brooklyn neighborhood changing, with new buildings erected and white people, such as Carolyn Berg, moving in. Lately, Maizon has been spending more time with Carolyn, and Margaret feels excluded. Developing physically, Margaret also feels overweight, a misperception that leads to symptoms of bulimia and a near-starvation diet. Maizon, meanwhile, struggles with the sudden appearance of her father, who has contacted her for the first time since he left her with her grandmother following her mother's death in childbirth. As in the previous novels, Woodson stresses the importance of friends and family, but the impact here is somewhat diluted by the movie-of-the-week problems that challenge the two girls. Her candid assessments of relations between blacks and whites are as searching as ever, however, and her characters just as commanding. Ages 10-14. (Nov.)