I challenged myself to read authors with a variety of voices this year, and I'm so glad I did. I initially chose this book as a book I thought would make me cry. I knew it was about the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina and it's immediate aftermath. I also suspected ( from the cover) that dogs and dog fighting were potentially involved. It seemed like a good choice for that category. What I found though, instead of just tragedy, was a book about overcoming tragedy and salvaging the best that you can from the life you are given.
Usually I have difficulty relating to characters that are so very different than myself and my own life experiences. ( Just being brutally honest here) But I enjoyed meeting Esch and every member of her family: Daddy, Randall, Skeetah and Junior. I found myself relating to Esch, a young girl struggling to figure out who she is in a world that can be very complicated. I loved all her references to Greek mythology because, at her age, I also loved those stories about brave heroes and defeating the odds.
The character that surprised me the most is Skeetah. He has an all white pit bull, named China. At the beginning of the story, she is having puppies. I was amazed at how Skeetah's love for China consumed him and how he works so hard to save her and her puppies. I thought I would hate Skeetah because of his involvement in dog fighting, but instead, I found myself viewing the events from his perspective.
I am really glad I read this book. 5 out of 5 stars for opening my eyes to a different life.