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Banana Brown

This nine-year-old Afro-American girl from South Carolina, aka Dina, has a thing about her name. But that's the small part. Much bigger to bear is losing her parents and becoming a foster child. A very angry one who makes life so difficult in the homes she's placed, each of the foster parents return her. A new social worker comes to her rescue, bringing new homes, new troubles, but eventually finds a loving home that works. Dina confides in the stars, makes a new friend, and finds the courage to ward off some school enemies. When losses continue, her desperation renews, and she makes a decision that could thwart her safety, and in the end, will have to give an answer to what will change her life.

 

 

["Where is home?" were the last words in my head before I dozed off to sleep.]

 

["I wish for the best parents, a great mom or dad or both. And, no more troubles, please."]

 

[What if he was sick and had to go to the hospital? What if they didn't want me anymore? I held my doll close to me and opened my curtains to watch the moon. I dreamt of moon beams and star-filled skies. I dreamt of my daisy plant growin' taller and taller. I dreamt of a new set of clothes for my doll. I dreamt I was in my dad's arms and fell fast asleep.]

 

["Are you a sissy or something?"

"I ain't no sissy, but I ain't no robber, either."

"Aren't you all uppity."

"I am who I am, that's all. I'm Dina."

"Dina, Miss Uppity."

"You better be leavin' now. Linin' up for recess is startin'."

"You better be leaving now, Miss Uppity. The boogeyman might get you."]