OVERRIDE

Chill Wind

Janet McDonald

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

A tough and funny project girl manages to make that chill wind blow away

The good life, according to Aisha Ingram, is easy. It's hanging with friends, dancing, listening to music, whatever . . . but it doesn't include worrying about the future. Chilling out is her mantra until she receives a sixty-day termination-of-welfare-benefits notice. Without her monthly food stamps and assistance checks and with no help from the father of her two children, Aisha's life threatens to become a little too "chilly." The clock is ticking and she doesn't have many options, but one thing she knows for sure: workfare is not for her. There's no way she's going to scrub subway cars or sweep city sidewalks. Aisha tries to come up with other ways to get money, but things don't look good. Soon another notice comes: only thirty days left. Then she sees an ad on TV for BIGMODELS, and she figures she might as well check out the agency. After all, she is pretty enough. But just when it looks like Aisha's problems might be solved, things grow crazy again.

In Aisha, Janet McDonald has created a larger-than-life heroine who finds and succeeds at what is right for her.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chill Wind
Chill WindOneAisha stood in the middle of her room holding the letter, spacing out. She could hear her mother Louise laughing at something on television, no doubt stretched out on her bed as usual. It seemed like ages ago that her mother worked in a laundromat, washing and folding clothes. Something else seemed like ages ago too. Aisha remembered dissin' her best friend Raven, also a dropout and teen mother, for wanting to make something of herself. She'd advised Raven to "chill," like she was doing, and just let the system take care of her. Now Raven's words came back like an ice
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REVIEWS

Praise for Chill Wind

"McDonald writes with such honesty, wit, and insight that you want to quote from every page and read much of this story aloud to share the laughter and anguish, failure and hope, fury and tenderness, of black project girl Aisha Ingram . . . The
truth of the characters and their talk and the energy of the neighborhood . . . will grab readers from everywhere." --Starred, Booklist

"The language is real and believable and evokes life in an urban setting. Determination, familial love, and courage are the themes examined." --School Library Journal

"McDonald deserves kudos for her gritty, unsentimental portrait of day-to-day life in the projects." --Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Janet McDonald

  • Janet McDonald (1953-2007) is the author of the adult memoir Project Girl. She is the author of three books set in the Brooklyn projects: Chill Wind, for which she received the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent; Spellbound, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Twists and Turns, an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and lived in Paris, France.
  • Janet McDonald Copyright Gwen Wock
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Available Formats and Book Details

Chill Wind

Janet McDonald

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award - Author, IRA Young Adult Choices, NYPL Books for the Teen Age
  • Trade Paperback

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  • e-Book

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