Giles, Gail. Girls Like Us. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2014. Print.
image from: www.amazon.com
I've had this book on my pile for awhile. I thought I needed to read it before putting it on the shelf. I needed to see how the content was handled. I feel Giles writes these characters in a believable voice without condescension.
The dual narrator format is used in this book. This is the story of Biddy and Quincy, two "speedies" who are asked to be roommates. They live in a garage apartment near Miss Lizzy's house. For room and board, they will each have a role to aide Miss Lizzy. Biddy is to clean and help Miss Lizzy with her exercises. Quincy ends up cooking for the trio while also holding down a job at a local eatery. Miss Lizzy provides wisdom, manners and compassion. The three of them will come to rely upon each other for more than these assigned roles.
The title reference is on page 151.
This was a fast read (I read it in one evening), but the content is not easy. There are two rapes discussed, name calling, and abuse. However, the book is not all gloom and doom. There is a theme of acceptance. Friendships form from strange places. Not to sound trite, but there is toughness enveloped in tenderness and caring found under a hard shell. I was proud of these girls. I was both sad and happy to share their stories. Parts of the book were funny. Parts made me stop and think.
I originally had this labeled for my "chick lit" section, but I'm going to change that to the reality genre. I want all students who read this to come away with a better understanding of others. Each of us has a story. We each have reasons why we behave in certain ways. We might not all wear a literal coat full of food, but metaphorically, we all have a coat, whether we are "special" or not.