Style: This book is a novel broken into four parts. It is written in first person narration (i, me, my). It is a bildungsroman -- a novel dealing with one person's formative years.
Setting: The book moves between Haiti, Brooklyn, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island. It begins in the early 1980s.
Summary: Sophie immigrates from Haiti to Brooklyn when she is 12 years old, and
reconnects with her mother, who left when she was a baby. Martine begins to “test” her after she discovers that Sophie has a relationship with Joseph, a much older African American jazz musician. The test was a physical examination to see if Sophie was still a virgin. Sophie eventually elopes with Joseph, and after she has a baby girl, goes back to Haiti to visit Tante Atie and Grandmé Ifé. That visit helps to heal her broken relationship with her mother
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"Pemberton's beautifully told story is a rags to riches journey-beginning in a place and with a jarring set of experiences that could have destroyed his life. But Steve's refusal to give in to those forces, and his resolve to create a better life, shows a courage and resilience that is an example for many of us to follow." -Stedman Graham, Author, Educator.
Home is the place where our life stories begin. It is where we are understood, embraced, and accepted. It is a sanctuary of safety and security, a place to which we can always return. Down in the dank basement,amid my moldy, hoarded food and worm-eaten books, I dreamed that my real home,the place where my story had begun, was out there somewhere, and one day I was going to find it.
Taken from his mother at age three, Steve Klakowicz lives a terrifying existence. Caught in the clutches of a cruel foster family and subjected to constant abuse, Steve finds his only refuge in a box of books given to him by a kind stranger. In these books, he discovers new worlds he can only imagine and begins to hope that one day he might have a different life-that one day he will find his true home. A fair-complexioned boy with blue eyes, a curly Afro, and a Polish last name, he is determined to unravel the mystery of his origins and find his birth family. Armed with just a single clue, Steve embarks on an extraordinary quest for his identity, only to learn that nothing is as it appears. A Chance in the World is the unbelievably true story of a wounded and broken boy destined to become a man of resilience, determination, and vision. Through it all, Steve's story teaches us that no matter how broken our past, no matter how great our misfortunes, we have it in us to create a new beginning and to build a place where love awaits.
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When fourteen-year-old Carlotta Walls walked up the stairs of Little Rock Central High School on September 25, 1957, she and eight other black students only wanted to make it to class. But the journey of the "Little Rock Nine," as they came to be known, would lead the nation on an even longer and much more turbulent path, one that would challenge prevailing attitudes, break down barriers, and forever change the landscape of America.
For Carlotta and the eight other children, simply getting through the door of this admired academic institution involved angry mobs, racist elected officials, and intervention by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was forced to send in the 101st Airborne to escort the Nine into the building. But entry was simply the first of many trials. Breaking her silence at last and sharing her story for the first time, Carlotta Walls has written an engrossing memoir that is a testament not only to the power of a single person to make a difference but also to the sacrifices made by families and communities that found themselves a part of history.