At the center of Joanne Hyppolite's novel for young adults, Seth and Samona, is the idea of having faith in human beings, of accepting differences and hoping for the best from others. The novel is narrated by Seth Michelin, an eleven-year-old boy whose family has immigrated from Haiti to Boston, Massachusetts. Seth's parents, grandmother, and numerous aunts and uncles still follow many of the cultural practices that they followed in the old country, while Seth and his brother and sister are faced with blending their cultural tradition into the world where they live now. Samona Gemini is Seth's classmate and his closest friend, even though he goes out of his way to pretend that he is embarrassed by her. Like Seth, Samona does not exactly fit into the social atmosphere of their fifth grade class. While Seth is quiet and withdrawn, Samona is loud and outgoing, given to lying, bragging, and drawing attention to herself. Seth repeatedly calls Samona "crazy'' and he pretends to pity her because she will never have friends until she acts "normal." Still, it is obvious from the way he acts toward her that, despite what he says, he admires her for the freedom that he lacks. Seth and Samona was the winner of the second annual Marguarite de Angeli Prize, and has won critical and popular acclaim for Hyppolite.