Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2017 Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: Jason Reynolds
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481450188
Hardcover Price: $16.99

Patina—Patty—and her young sister Maddy have recently moved in with their aunt and uncle. Their lives upended when their father died and an illness left their mother unable to care for them.

Now, instead of her old school, old neighborhood and familiar friends, Patty goes to a mostly white private school. She's an outsider. She feels an overwhelming pressure to care for her sister, keep her grades up in harder classes, and not let anyone down. She also feels alone.

Despite the loving and good intentions of Uncle Tony and Aunt Emily, Patty desperately misses the way things used to be. But she keeps her feelings bottled up, and lashes out in self-destructive ways.

The one constant she has, is track. Patty can run like the wind. Track is her safe place and her joy. And if she can keep hurt and anger from destroying her, she can win.

Slowly, Patina's fierce walls start to crumble, and rays of hope sneak in. She has a world of people waiting to help if she just asks. When she does, she finds a solid new friend. She renews relationships with her old ones, sees her mother in a new light and learns that though obstacles will always come, she doesn't have to meet them alone.

Patina is a sweet story, simply, of how rich life can be when we let it. And it's an inspiration to young athletes, especially the runners.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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