I just finished Begging for Change, a sequel to Money Hungry. I wanted to read the sequel to see how Raspberry’s life turns out. It was a little iffy at the end on Money Hungry, but I am happy to report that Raspberry’s life does get better. That doesn’t mean the journey to better was easy. I think that’s what I enjoy about Sharon Flake’s books. There are no easy solutions. Nothing is ever black and white, and through her books you do get to experience how differently people deal with life when things get tough.
I also love how Raspberry’s mom just never gives up. Even when things are hard for her, she still tries to help others when they are down. After all, she remembers when her own mother died, had a family not taken her in, her life would have spiraled downward into nowhere like some of the neighborhood teens she encounters in the projects. It was because of this family that she became the hardworking and hopeful person she is today (even if it sometimes gets her in trouble.) She knows there is always something better for which to strive, something she never lets Raspberry forget. Like she tells Raspberry,
“Nobody makes it on their own.”
If you like realistic fiction, I think Sharon Flake’s honest portrayal of complex characters make her a must read author.