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Born In Sin by Evelyn Coleman

Born In Sin

by Evelyn Coleman

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Booktalk: Keisha doesn't know how to swim, and her only motivation to learn is that she knows if she fell in the pool, the snotty white lifeguards wouldn't bother themselves to jump in and save her. Still... (read p. 60 from "One week later..." to p. 69 "he knew."). What Mr. Walt knows is that Keisha has real talent--big talent, the kind of talent that could make her an Olympic-caliber swimmer--if she devotes herself to it. Could this be the thing to get her out of the projects and into the rest of her life?
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
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My mama say, "Things either gonna get better or worse round this house."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Removed from an academic program for high achievers and placed in an intervention group for "at risk teens" because she is black and poor, Keisha discovers her talent for swimming and tries to use it to rise above the poverty, deprivation and violence of the urban ghetto where she lives.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689838336, Hardcover)

Author Evelyn Coleman, best known for writing children's books and adult thrillers, takes on teen fiction with Born in Sin. Living in a housing project with drug dealers as neighbors, 14-year-old Keisha is determined not to let her future be dictated by her meager circumstances. A straight-A student, she confidently applies for an advanced placement summer program. But her dream is derailed when school administrators decide that instead of following the college track, Keisha should attend a summer program for at-risk teens. Infuriated, Keisha refuses to go along at first, (in a memorable opening scene, she snatches the wig off the head of the offending principal) but then, through that program, she discovers a natural aptitude for swimming. Encouraged by a kindly coach, she begins to train for the Olympics. But family problems and a nearly fatal quarrel with a local drug lord coincide to undermine her confidence again. Will Keisha ever be able to overcome the "sin of poverty" and become the winner she knows she is inside?

Despite some politically correct, almost caricatured characters, (the white lawyer in charge of the program informs Keisha's mother with utmost sincerity, "I am aware of the idea that because your roots are in Africa, you may not see time in a linear fashion as we do"), Keisha is an engaging, bighearted heroine who teens will cheer for. This novel is a good suggestion for those older adolescent readers who have enjoyed E.R. Frank's Life is Funny and Virginia Euwer Wolff's True Believer. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:25 -0400)

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Despite serious obstacles and setbacks, fourteen-year-old Keisha pursues her dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer and medical doctor.

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