Here is a mature story of a poor adolescent girl's concern for a peer whose life challenges are more taxing than her own.
Fourteen-year-old LaVaughn dreams of going to college, but her family is poor and the only way she can afford to go is to work part-time while she attends high school. LaVaughn finds a job babysitting for Jolly, a 17-year-old single mother with two children. Jolly, a high school dropout who can barely read, is worried when she is fired from her job (her boss harasses her) and can't make ends meet. Jolly is too proud to apply for welfare, but LaVaughn encourages her to enroll in a high school program for young mothers. But when LaVaughn is about to graduate and Jolly has found a new sense of independence, life brings new changes to their friendship.
This poignant and realistic story of two adolescent girls struggling to define their lives is a rich character portrait for young adult readers.