Justina Chen Headley Dia Calhoun Lorie Ann Grover Holly Cupala Melissa Walker readergirlz blog


Kendra by Coe Booth

Kendra by Coe Booth

Kendra's mom, Renee, had her when she was only 14 years old. Renee and her mom made a deal - Renee could get an education, and Kendra would live with her grandmother. But now Renee's out of grad school and Kendra's in high school . . . and getting into some trouble herself. Kendra's grandmother lays down the law: It's time for Renee to take care of her daughter. Kendra wants this badly - even though Renee keeps disappointing her. Being a mother isn't easy, but being a daughter can be just as hard.

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"readergirlz is proud to host Coe Booth and discuss Kendra this August. We were enthusiastic to discover this Bronx teen girl, working through abandonment, restriction, and physical attraction. Our community will engage with Kendra and the realistic cast that surrounds her. Brava, Coe!" - Lorie Ann Grover, rgz co-founder and author

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, 2007

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

NYPL Stuff for the Teenage

"Booth delivers dynamic characters and an engaging story." - School Library Journal


Coe Booth


Things to Know

  Coe Booth

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On the nightstand: A whole bunch of books I'm reading at the same time!

Favorite drink while you write: French vanilla coffee

Favorite bookstores: Strand bookstore

Favorite library: NYPL Bronx Library Center

Pets: When I was growing up I had three dogs, Mutsy, Ben, and Sable, but right now I don't have any pets.

Place to write: I like writing in small, independent coffee shops in Manhattan or Brooklyn Ė places with good coffee and yummy treats!

Inspiration: Eavesdropping on people, especially on trains.†Also, people-watching around the city.†

Dream book tour: Traveling around the country in a rock-star-type tour bus!

Writer buddies: All of The Longstockings (Jenny Han, Daphne Grab, Siobhan Vivian, Lisa Graff, Lisa Greenwald, Caroline Hickey, and Kathryne Alfred); Leslie Margolis; Justine Larbalestier; and Neesha Meminger.

Cure for writer's block: Loud music, Hšagen-Dazs Caramel Cone ice cream!

Favorite outfit: Broken-in jeans and pretty tops.

Laptop or longhand? Laptop. But when I get stuck, writing long-hand sometimes helps.

Stilettos or Uggs? Ugh. Neither. I'm a flip-flops kind of girl!

Next up: The sequel to Tyrell (fall 2010)

Author idol: Zora Neale Hurston, Judy Blume

Other YA Novels: Tyrell

Other Interviews: TeenReads, The Brown Bookshelf, VOYA

Website: www.coebooth.com



rgz LIVE!

Discuss the book with the author herself. Coe Booth will be chatting live at the readergirlz blog on Wednesday, August 26th at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST. The chat will last for about an hour.




Kendra's mom wasn't alone in having a baby at the age of 14. In the U.S., statistics show that three out of every 10 teenage girls will get pregnant at least once before turning 20.

Visit www.stayteen.org for more teen pregnancy statistics, along with information about abstinence (the only 100% effective way not to get pregnant) and contraception.

If you haven't already watched MTVís new 16 and Pregnant series, catch up by downloading full episodes here. The hour-long documentaries offer an eye-opening view of teen pregnancy that complement Coe Booth's fabulous book, Kendra. Join in on teen pregnancy discussions on MTVís message boards.


The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book.

A Girl Like Me by Rihanna
Chasing Pavements by Adele
Never Too Much by Luther Vandross
Torn by Natalie Imbruglia
Breakable by Ingrid Michaelson
I Decided (Part 1) by Solange
Teenage Love Affair by Alicia Keys
Halo by Beyonce
From My Heart to Yours by Laura Izibor




Renée had Kendra when she was only fourteen years old. What do you think are some of the challenges of being such a young mother?

Throughout the book, Kendra wishes to get closer to her mother. Do you wish you were closer to one of your parents? What steps can you take to strengthen this bond?

Nana is very overprotective of Kendra. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this for Kendra?

What are Kenny's strengths and weaknesses as a father?

Although she has always had a habit of doodling house designs, Kendra discovers a whole new creative outlet when she joins the stage crew. What talents do you have? Is there a new way you can use these talents that you haven't explored yet?

Have you ever been in a position where you wanted to do something you knew would cause problems between you and a good friend? How did you resolve that issue?

What do you think of the choices Kendra makes, especially regarding Nashawn? If you were her friend, what advice would you give her?

What do you think will happen after the end of the book – between Kendra and Renée?  Kendra and Adonna? Kendra and Nashawn?



Invite: Playbill-designed evites, inviting guests "Backstage at the Theatre!"

Food: Kendra has a bit of a sweet tooth, so serve her favorite snacks: Chick-o-Sticks, small cups filled with dry Lucky Charms and other sweet cereals, and (of course) Devil Dogs!

Décor: Hang large sketches and blueprints of set designs. Place wooden miniature models of various theatrical sets on tables all around the room.

Movies: High School Musical, Fame, and the TV show Glee

Craft: Provide paint, paintbrushes, and artist smocks. Have partygoers paint the model sets during the party.



Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis Violet by Design by Melissa Walker So Not the Drama by Paula Chase GirlForce by Nikki Goldstein

Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
Violet by Design by Melissa Walker
So Not the Drama by Paula Chase

GirlForce by Nikki Goldstein


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Graceling by Kristin Cashore




Join us in the coming months as we discuss:

September: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
October: The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
November: Sweetgrass Basket by Marlene Carvell


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