by Jenny B. Jones
Reviewed by Sheryl Root
Subtitled: A Katie Parker Production Act 1
It took less than a chapter for Katie Parker, the main character in Jenny B. Jones's new novel, In Between, to win me over completely. Sixteen-year-old Katie, now a ward of the state of Texas after her mom's recent imprisonment, says, "Knowing that your greatest achievement to date is becoming a dependent of an entire state can totally blow a girl's confidence."
About the time Katie gets used to being at the Sunny Haven Home for Girls, she finds herself shipped out to foster parents who live in In Between, Texas. Now what kind of town would name itself In Between? And, have as its high school mascot a Chihuahua?
Her new foster parents, James and Millie Scott, are nice enough people, in spite of the fact that Katie is shocked to find out James is the senior pastor of In Between Community Church. Now why would a family like that want her? Besides, she's heard the horror stories from the other girls at Sunny Have. Moving from one foster home to another--never staying in one place for long. Katie figures the sooner she can get herself sent back to Sunny Haven, the easier it will be on everyone.
However, when her best attempts to get the Scotts to send her back only seem to strengthen their caring and support, Katie begins to realize that maybe her life can be something better than it has been. And James and Millie Scott are surprised to find that Katie might also have a lesson or two to teach them.
With great supporting characters such as Mad Maxine, Millie Scott's "gum-smacking, energy-drink guzzling, wheelie-popping demon" of a mother, Jenny B. Jones has created a humorous and heart-touching book seen through the eyes of a foster kid on the outside looking in. Katie Parker will make you laugh out loud and, by the time you finish the last page, I have no doubt she will have won your heart as she did mine.
I eagerly look forward to the next book in the series, On the Loose, scheduled to be released in September 2007.
Armchair Interviews says: Wonderful story for young adult readers.
Author's Web site: http://www.jennybjones.com