Shoes on the Wire

      Peggy West
Shoes on the Wire

When twelve-year-old Rebecca’s parents split up, she moves into a housing project and is called “just Project.” Her mother becomes ill and leans on her. Rebecca is left hopeless about the freedom that becoming a teenager promises. Fed up, she sneaks away to the lookout where she ponders life. She hangs out with an older Project girl who helps her turn into a real teenager.When twelve-year-old Rebecca’s parents quickly split up, she moves hundreds of miles away to a big city housing project. She has had to leave her Beatles album and record player behind. Everyone who lives in The Project gets called “just Project”. Her mother becomes seriously ill. A younger Project friend disappears. Her brother leaves. Her father won’t come to take her home. How can she become a teenager when every day is worse than the last one?In spite of the family chaos, Rebecca holds onto the dream of turning thirteen years old. She hangs around with an older Project girl and learns to think and speak like a teenager. They plan a teenage haircut and cool clothes for Rebecca. Rebecca sneaks away to the lookout where she thinks about how her life has changed. She thinks about the Project and poverty, which makes her madder.As she becomes a teenager, her rebellion intensifies. She fights with her mother. Yet there is more to being a teenager than pulling away. Rebecca searches for the deeper meaning to growing up.

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