I am here, in the rain, tied to the mango tree. The water leve rises, above my naked feet, past my ankles. I wait ...
It has been this way since Sarina's family moved to Liberia from Boston eight months ago. Her mother ties her to the mango tree in their front yard, terrified of losing her. It's never for long, and Sarina knows her mother doesn't mean to hurt her. But things just seem to get harder the longer her family stays in this country so far from home.
On good days, when Sarina's mother is feeling better, she sets her daughter free. On bad days, Sarina dangles her feet in the puddles and mud until dusk, waiting for someone to rescue her, wishing for the one thing her mother fears most: a friend.
Then one day Sarina meets Boima, a Liberian boy, and he becomes Sarina's cherished secret. He takes her to places outside her dirty yard, and shows her the ocean, the trees, and the people of Liberia. Together they discover what friendship really means ... and that there is a world of joy, hunger, and hope waiting just beyond the mango tree.
2000-2001 Georgia's Picture Storybook Award & Georgia's Children's Book Award Masterlist