Thirteen year old Raspberry lives in the Projects. It’s not the greatest place to live in the world, but it’s a step up from her previous home, the streets and her mother’s old blue beat up car. Raspberry is always looking for a way to make a buck. She’ll do anything (legal) to make money, like wash cars, clean houses, skip lunch, and she has saved quite a bit of it… over 600 dollars she keeps hidden around in her room. Her friends tell her she is “money hungry” like it’s a bad thing, but Raspberry could care less,
“Cause if you got money, people can’t take stuff from you – not your house, or your ride, not your family. They can’t do nothing much to you…”
Living on the streets was tough, but Raspberry is tougher. She has to be. She is determined to NEVER end up living in the projects like her mother, who has worked hard all of her life but finds herself “ending up right back in the projects where she started out all them years ago.”
Her fear of ending back up on the streets keeps her focused on the prize: cash. She loves the smell of it, the way it folds and crinkles, the comfort she feels when she holds it in her hands.
“I’m gonna have me some big-time cash someday. I ain’t gonna be stuck up here in the projects, trying to get by like everybody else.”
The characters in this novel are so down to earth and real, you almost feel like you know them. No one gets a free ride in his book, except maybe Zora who lives in a nice neighborhood with her doctor father. But troubles aren’t always about money, as the characters in this novel experience.
This is Raspberry’s story told though her point of view. The dialogue just leaps off the pages. I liked that the ending is unclear and leaves you hanging a bit. I did find out though that there is a sequel, Begging for Change. You can’t help but care about Raspberry and who knows? Maybe there is a happy ending for her? I have the book on hold and will soon find out!