Category Archives: Moses, Shelia P.

Shelia P. Moses. Joseph’s Grace. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011.

Compared to his life a few years ago when Joseph and his drug-addicted mother lived in a homeless shelter, things have gotten much better for the teenager. Now Joseph lives with his Aunt Shirley, Uncle Todd, and beloved cousin Jasmine in a nice neighborhood in Durham. He is enjoying his summer break by perfecting his tennis game, working at Target, and getting to know his co-worker, Valerie, a little better. In a few months, Joseph’s father will return from service in Iraq.

However, not all is well with his mother, Betty. She is still abusing drugs and dating Bow, a dangerous thug. No one grasps how scary Bow is until the day that he breaks into Shirley and Todd’s house looking for Betty. Frustrated with the answers that Joseph and Jasmine give him for her absence, Bow shoots his gun into a wall. A stray bullet hits Jasmine in the head, killing her instantly.

Joseph’s family is devastated by their tragic loss. When Betty returns to her old ways just two weeks after Jasmine’s death, though, Joseph realizes how selfish – and embarrassing – his mother truly is. Aunt Shirley suggests forcing her to go to rehab, and Joseph finally accepts that it will be the only way to save his mother and to help everyone cope.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Children & Young Adults, Durham, Moses, Shelia P., Piedmont

Shelia P. Moses. Joseph. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008.

This beautiful book is written in the voice of Joseph, a high school boy.  When the novel opens, Joseph is living in a homeless shelter with his mother who has multiple addictions.  It’s shocking to Joseph that he and his mother have fallen so low, but at least the shelter is near a good high school.  At school, Joseph finds supportive adults, a few new friends, and a chance to show his talent on the tennis court.  Joseph’s parents are divorced, and his father is in service in Iraq.  His father does what he can to help, and an aunt offers him a home, but Joseph wants to stay by his mother’s side to save her from her worst impulses.  As the novel progresses, Joseph finds his way to a better life.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Children & Young Adults, Durham, Moses, Shelia P., Piedmont

Shelia P. Moses. The Baptism. New York: Margaret K. McElderry, 2007.

Twin brothers Leon and Luke Curry’s God-fearing mother thinks that it’s time for her adolescent sons to commit their lives to the Lord. The boys mean to do that, but the challenges of new family relationships, a trickster older brother, and the innocent temptations of summer in the rural South make it hard for them to give up their sinning ways. Racism, past and present, is part of Leon and Luke’s world, and navigating that adds tension and depth to the novel.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Children & Young Adults, Coastal Plain, Moses, Shelia P., Northampton