Barnes, Joyce Annette. Promise me the Moon. Dial, 1997. ISBN 0-8037-1798-9. $14.99. 171 pp. B 6-8 FI Reviewed by Wendy Bishop Annie Armstrong cannot think of a science project. She is the only girl enrolled in the enriched science class, but at the moment her brain does not feel enriched. She wants to become an astronaut alongside her best friend Claude-until other interests come along for Claude, and he no longer has time to be with her. Annie quarrels for the first time with Claude, and soon finds she must pursue her dream solo. Not only is she estranged from Claude, but her friends tease her about wanting to attend “Egghead High.” Then a dear friend and neighbor passes away. In addition, her father never has time to attend her extracurricular activities, and she begins to wonder if anyone cares about her. The pressures of growing up and feeling lonely seem to ease when Annie receives an invitation to visit her brother and his wife in New York. While in New York, Annie comes to understand why her father works two jobs. Suddenly she feels a deep appreciation for her parents and the new world opening itself up to her view. She discovers great black artists and historic black leaders. Upon her return home, Annie finds renewed courage to face her future. Although this book may appeal more to girls, the follies of first love are shared by both sexes. Boys, as well as girls, will enjoy reading about travel to new places, whether in space or to a new state. All children must learn to understand their parents and appreciate the restrictions they put on them, as Annie came to appreciate the sacrifice made by her father in her behalf. This book supports the value of education and sacrifice. It also show that opportunities are not as far away as the moon, if you work hard and never give up.
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