Paris has just moved in with the Lincoln family, and she isn't thrilled to be in yet another foster home. She has a tough time trusting people, and she misses her brother, who's been sent to a boys' home. Over time, the Lincolns grow on Paris. But no matter how hard she tries to fit in, she can't ignore the feeling that she never will, especially in a town that's mostly white while she is half black. It isn't long before Paris has a big decision to make about where she truly belongs.
Grimes, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Bronx Masquerade, offers a rare success story about foster care in this elegantly simple (but never simplistic) story. Eight-year-old Paris Richmond, on the road to yet another foster home, feels like she never really belongs anywhere: " Sometimes I wish I was like my name . . . somewhere far away, out of reach. Somewhere safe down south or on the other side of the ocean.' Instead, she is neither Paris nor Richmond. She felt like a nobody caught in the dark spaces in between. A nobody on her way to nowhere." Rejected by her mother, separated from her protective older brother, ostracized from both black and white communities by virtue of being biracial, Paris has a hard time trusting anyone. Convinced her newest foster placement with the Lincoln family will be a disaster like all the others, Paris only gradually realizes the extent of the family's kindness and learns to trust her foster brother's advice to "keep God in [her] pocket." In well-crafted prose, Grimes dramatizes both the best and worst of foster care situations, offering both a compelling character study and a discussion-provoking final scene.