When best friends Tai and Mila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the looming dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program.
Fans of Renée Watson’s Piecing Me Together will love this memorable story about a complex friendship between two very different African American girls—and the importance of speaking up.
Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can’t wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and when Mila returns she’s more focused on her upcoming dance auditions than hanging out with Tai.
Paula Chase explores complex issues that affect many young teens, and So Done offers a powerful message about speaking up. Full of ballet, basketball, family, and daily life in Pirates Cove, this memorable novel is for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Jason Reynolds’s Ghost.
"Chase vividly conjures the triumphs, tensions, and worries percolating in the girls’ low-income neighborhood." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")
Growing up together in a housing project, 13-year-olds Tai and Mila are longtime best friends, but they couldn't be more opposite. Sassy Tai thrives on the neighborhood's energy, while quiet, reserved Mila can't wait to get out. Their differences increase after Mila spends the summer in the suburbs with her aunt and older sister; there, she feels free, unburdened of a horrible secret that makes her afraid to go to Tai's house. When she returns home, Tai senses that something in Mila has changed, and it causes a rift it seems that the only things that unite them now are their love of dance and the upcoming audition for a program designed for fine arts students. Through successfully rendered dialogue, Chase (the Del Rio Bay Clique series) vividly conjures the triumphs, tensions, and worries percolating in the girls' low-income neighborhood. Tai's exuberance forms an effective foil to Mila's internal turmoil, and the building anticipation about who will be chosen for the program and whether Mila will divulge her secret will keep readers turning pages. Ages 8 12.)\n