Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
Sheree, or Ree Ree as she is known to her family and friends, has the odds stacked against her. Growing up with her single mother and not having much of a relationship with her father hasn't given Ree Ree the best start in life. Her dreams are big, but her chances are small.
Life isn't easy, but Ree Ree has people who care about her and try to steer her in the right direction. Her mother was just fifteen when Ree Ree was born. It was a case of one-sided love. Her father had other ideas about how to spend his time besides hanging around being a dad. Now when Ree Ree needs him most, he's the father of several more children and living with a new woman who doesn't have any use for a wayward teenage stepdaughter.
Ree Ree's mother and grandmother have tried to keep her focused on school and a decent future, but it's not easy with all the temptations out on the streets. Her mother is a nice-looking woman with an eye for men and spends most nights at the local bar. Although she sets some serious rules and expectations, as a role model, she definitely lacks authority.
BABY GIRL is written as three letters. The first is Ree Ree's description of what has gone wrong in her life, and her attempts to stay connected with her mother and reconnect with her father. The second letter is her mother's view of raising Ree Ree and dealing with a daughter who repeats the mistakes of the mother. Finally, the last letter is Ree Ree facing her son and the consequences of her own decisions.
Lenora Adams uses the language of the streets to create a realistic drama about an attempt to break free of the past and build a better future. But as the quote on the cover asks, "What happens when life isn't what you expected?"