Published by Riverhead/Penguin

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ALA Notable Book

QPB New Visions Award: Nominee

ALA Best Book for Young Adults 1997

Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection

Praise for Mama's Girl:

"Extraordinary." -- People

"A troubling testament to grit and mother love. . . While the story of her own achievement under grim, often-violent circumstances is extraordinary, the reader is left feeling particularly grateful for Chambers' compassion. Her portrait of her Panamanian mother -- proud, protective, angry and in need -- is one of the finest and most evenhanded in the genre in recent years." -- The New Yorker

"Affecting and eloquent, Chambers rise is remarkable, as is her spare, lilting writing style. . . Chambers writes with probity. And she illustrates her thoughts with well culled details that are telling and lyrically rendered: A." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Extraordinary emotional and insightful prose." -- San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"An unforgettable testament to the resiliency of the human spirit and the depth of love." --Booklist.

"Moving. . . the story of a strong soul growing up." -- USA Today

On the streets of Brooklyn in the 1970s, Veronica Chambers mastered the whirling helixes of a double-dutch jump rope with the same finesse she brought to her schoolwork, her often troubled family life, and the demands of being overachieving and being underprivileged. Her mother -- a Panamanian immigrant -- was too often overwhelmed by the task of raising Veronica and her difficult younger brother on her meager secretary's salary to applaud her daughter's achievements. From an early age, Veronica understood that the best she could do for her mother was to be a perfect child -- to rewrite her Christmas wish lists to her mother's budget, to look after her brother, to get by on her own.

Though her mother seemed to bear out the adage that "black women raise their daughters and mother their sons," Veronica never stopped trying to do more, do better, do it all. And now, as a successful young woman who's achieved more than her mother dared to hope for her, she looks back on their relationship in this moving, startingly honest memoir, and shares some important truths about what we really want from our mothers -- and what we can give them in return.

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