Review of Turning Point

Turning Point
by Paula Chase
Intermediate, Middle School    Greenwillow    384 pp.    g
9/20    978-0-06-296566-0    $16.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-296568-4    $7.99

The crew from the Cove (So Done, rev. 7/18; Dough Boys, rev. 7/19) is back, and best friends Rasheeda “Sheeda” Tate and Monique “Mo” Jenkins are the featured duo this go-round. Having declared it “the Lonely Summer,” Sheeda is sad to lose Mo to a prestigious three-week ballet camp; her only options for a social life are the church acquaintances her strict aunt keeps shoving her toward or bossy, opinionated neighborhood friend Tai. A third option suddenly becomes available when Mo’s older brother makes it known he’d like to be more than friends. Meanwhile, Mo, although aware that her brother is trying to run some “weak game” with her best friend, has other concerns. Without having a “typical” ballet body, and as one of the only Black dancers at camp, she faces additional scrutiny in order to prove she’s worthy of both the intensive summer training and an invitation to join the ballet school year-round. Empathetic to the ambiguities of Black girlhood, and to adolescence in general, Chase moves effortlessly between Sheeda and Mo’s alternating chapters, as they go forward with a better understanding of themselves and each other. Readers will root for Sheeda and Mo’s friendship from beginning to end. While the full dynamics of various characters and relationships are made clearer in the previous two books, this novel is a solid standalone.

From the March/April 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Eboni Njoku
Eboni Njoku is a children’s librarian at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library Branch of the DC Public Library.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?