GENRE: MG Contemporary
Every girl loves a birthday party. That’s what my foster mom, Miss Donna, said. She figured a big party for my twelfth birthday would be the perfect way for me to meet all the kids in her neighborhood. I disagreed. I knew it would be a disaster long before the candles were on the cake and the guests showed up. By the time the paramedics left, Miss Donna agreed with me.
Twenty-three soon-to-be seventh-graders were packed like sardines into the overstuffed family room, laughing and chatting with each other while I watched from the sidelines and counted the sweat trickles as they escaped from my armpits. I’d only been at Miss Donna’s for three days, so the kids were all strangers to me. I couldn’t relax long enough to even remember their names.
The room was beautiful, and full of noise and bright colors. Miss Donna and her sisters must have worked most of the night to pull this off. My case worker, Miss Lee, may have even helped. She seemed to care about me. They all did. But what did I know? I’d never been in foster care before, so I didn’t know if the being nice was real or just part of the job.
Gifts covered the long table over by the wall. I tried to ignore them, but all that pink and purple fluff was hard to resist. Boxes of every shape and size taunted me with a promise of something exciting.