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Buckhanon, Kalisha. Upstate. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005.
Annotation: A boyfriend and girlfriend from Harlem correspond about their life challenges through letters after the guy is sent to jail for killing his father.
Antonio writes, “Baby, the first thing I need to know from you is do you believe I killed my father? I need to know if you believe what everybody saying about me because I need to know if you go my back.” Natasha responds, “I got your back baby, cause I know you would do the same for me.” [Pass books around to show the format.] And so starts the letters of 17-year-old Antonio and 16-year-old Natasha when Antonio is sent to prison for killing his father. They exchange letters, vowing to stay together. But each have their own problems and start leading separate lives – Antonia with jail and Natasha with facing tough decisions on the outside. Will their relationship stay strong? Will the letters be enough to keep them together? Follow the course of their lives while Antonio is Upstate.
- ALA Alex Awards Winner (Adult for Young Adults)
- Audie Award Winner, Literary Fiction
Award source: http://us.macmillan.com/upstate/KalishaBuckhanon