Atheneum, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Lyn Seippel
hirteen-year-old Kira has a strong, beautiful voice and she hopes someday to share it with everyone, but singing in the New York city subway is not what she had in mind. Her dad, Russ, persuades Kira to join the performances he and her half brothers perform daily for handouts. Kira came to New York city for a visit with her dad and is shocked that this is how Russ supports his family.
ira hates the subway performances. She is humiliated by having to sing to strangers who either heckle or pity her. Kira agrees to stay in new York and go to school so she can help her dad with her little brothers. Russ promises to get a real job and that they'll never do subway performances again. Kira is a tough kid, but being alone in a New York apartment with two little boys while her dad drives a cab is scary. She dreads going to her new school which is close to the subway platform where she sang. She can only hope no one will recognize her.
wo boys, Jake and Eugene, do recognize Kira, but keep her secret.
alternates first person voices by the three friends so the reader gets to know what motivates each of them. Jake has a speech problem and Eugene longs to make people laugh, but can't decide whether they are laughing with him or at him. Lucy Frank weaves good story about overcoming obstacles to reach goals, and the support friends give each other.
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