THE ROAD TO PARIS, by Nikki Grimes
Interest Level: Middle/Upper Grades
"Always remember to keep God in your pocket."
Wow. I just finished this book and I’m sitting here crying. What a powerful story that will touch so many hearts. Our school services the South Texas Children’s Home, and so many of my students are looking for this book, exactly. The title definitely does not give the reader a clue to its content. I assumed it dealt with a girl in the city of Paris, and wasn’t all that keen on reading it—once again I was wrong in my assumptions! The story follows eight year old Paris on a journey that starts out in such pain—being mistreated in an abusive foster home along with her brother. When they decide to run away, they are separated and placed in different homes. Paris slowly starts to heal and learns to trust…and to love again. In the end, she and her brother are reunited and move back in with their birth mother and her new husband. It is a bittersweet ending because Paris has to take a huge leap of faith—from the arms of her loving foster family, into those of her mother, who has already hurt her once, and her new stepfather, a virtual stranger. Grimes sure left room for a sequel—I’ll keep my eyes open for it!