Fresh Girl by Jaira Placide

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Mardi was born in New York, but her parents sent her to Haiti to be raised in her grandmother’s house while they worked. When a coup d’état means 12-year-old Mardi and her sister must flee, they suddenly arrive in Brooklyn to live with parents they hardly know. Now it’s two years later. Mardi has adapted to her new life, while savoring sweet memories of her home in Haiti. But she is also haunted by her secret: a soldier raped her when she fled. This ambitious first novel is an insightful story of how family love and support can heal and help us move from world to world.

About Jaira Placide

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Jaïra Placide is an assistant editor in the children’s books department of a New York publisher. This is her first novel.From the Hardcover edition.
Published January 8, 2002 by Wendy Lamb Books. 224 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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It gradually appears that something deeper haunts Mardi, something that causes her to put rocks in her bed to prevent dreams and to punish herself with blows and cuts.

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Publishers Weekly

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A 14-year-old seems quite naïve to the kids at her U.S. school, but while living in Haiti during the 1991 coup, she experienced a life-changing event too horrific and personal to share with anyone.

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Publishers Weekly

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Although several subplots begin and end abruptly (Mardi's friendship with the wealthy Janille, her uncle's relationship to a boy orphaned in the refugee camps, etc.), the heroine's growing courage to voice her unspeakable truth sustains the novel.

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Teen Reads

FRESH GIRL is the emotionally powerful story of 14-year-old Mardi Desravines, an intelligent but shy and troubled Haitian girl growing up in Brooklyn, New York.

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Fresh Girl

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