Do all youth think more than the adults of their lives imagine? Eleven-year-old Yolonda Blue—Yolonda Mae Blue, as her mother Josie calls her when displeased—has a butter-rich mental life, and most of her thoughts, whatever their quality, get some action. Her little brother Andrew is no less a thinker, and he converts his insight into music—sound pictures of real-life routines and events that listeners find stunningly accurate. If any of the adults with whom they interact knew them fully, their big adventure might be unnecessary. Until then, however, Yolonda and Andrew understand and value one another more than anyone else understands or values either of them. Andrew repays Yolonda's faith with a harmonica composition that tells his audience of her heroism, and this public honor, together with the clear success of her risky campaign to get Andrew's talent recognized, gives Yolonda the courage to correct some of her thinking and become a truer friend to a willing schoolmate.
Six years older and many dimensions larger than Andrew, Yolonda is expected to look after him. The better she does this and her many household routines, the better their mother, a young African-American widow whose policeman husband Deuce drowned, can concentrate on her job as a paralegal clerk. Even while her husband was alive, Josie Blue dreamed big for their children. Impressed with Yolonda's intelligence, if unaware of her cunning, she believes her daughter will achieve...
(The entire section is 1154 words.)
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