Review of Caprice

Caprice Caprice
by Coe Booth
Middle School    Scholastic    240 pp.    g
5/22    978-0-545-93334-6    $17.99

Big changes are happening in Caprice’s life. After an exciting, eventful summer spent at a wealthy private boarding school’s leadership program, Caprice is offered a full scholarship to attend the following fall as an eighth grader. She knows this is an amazing opportunity and a chance for a fresh start, though she is unsure about leaving her friends and family in Newark behind. Unfortunately, there is unspoken trauma in Caprice’s past. While living at her grandmother’s home when she was much younger, Caprice was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her uncle, and she and her mother were eventually put out of the house and estranged from the family. While she has never spoken of the abuse, memories and feelings are now coming to the surface—especially as her grandmother is ill and the possibility of a reunion is imminent. Booth (Tyrell, rev. 1/07; Kinda like Brothers, rev. 11/14) expertly maneuvers through the sensitive subject matter honestly without being explicit. She also shows Caprice dealing with the usual growing pains of adolescence (including criticism from her friends about her appearance and seeming non-interest in boys). At once heartbreaking and triumphant, this book provides education, encouragement, and acknowledgment that healing is possible even when terrible things happen to us.

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Monique Harris

Monique Harris is a public educator, reading specialist and independent educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Simmons University, and is enrolled in a PhD program at Florida State University.

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