Poor Me, by the Mother/Daughter writing team of Dara Edmondson and Raina Edmondson, available from Climbing Rose of The Wild Rose Press.
Excerpt from Poor Me:
Ma's hands were fisted at her sides and she looked ready to burst. "I'm so excited," she said. "It's at that school in Coconut Grove. Remember? I applied over a month ago."
I tried to recall the help wanted ads she'd read me, the ones she'd said sounded promising. There were always so many. "Is that the secretary one?"
"Administrative Assistant, they call it now. Let's go in and I'll tell you all about it." She ushered me inside our tiny apartment.
It took my eyes a moment to adjust to the dim light. Sitting on a plastic kitchen chair, I gave her my full attention. "The expensive private school, right?"
Her head bobbed up and down. "And you'll never guess what they've offered." She pursed her lips and arched her dark eyebrows.
A steady paycheck would be good. Knowing we won't be evicted again, at least not for a while, that would be wonderful. "What?"
"Free tuition." She crossed the room and hugged me. "You can attend Worthington Academy, Jessie. And they don't have lockdowns because someone's brought a gun to school, or graffiti on the walls, or gangs." She stepped away and drew a deep breath, let it out slowly. "It's so scary to send you where I don't know if you'll be safe. This way, you'll get a terrific education and I'll rest easy. And we can carpool."
I swallowed hard. Go to a private high school in Coconut Grove? With a bunch of rich kids? "But all my friends–"
"You'll make more, I promise. Starting at the beginning of the school year, there'll be other new kids." She shrugged. "And it's not like you can’t stay in touch with Brianne and Nicole. You just won't see them every day, that's all."
I thought about what it would be like, going to a different school, a private school. Girls like me never had opportunities like that. Feeling safe in the classrooms would be nice. Learning something, instead of listening to the teachers yell at the disruptive kids.
It wasn't like I hadn't started over at new schools before. I'd done that loads of times. Every time we had to move too far for me to stay in the same district. No big deal. Standing, I hugged my mother.
"Congratulations. This'll be the one, Ma. The job that'll work. I know it."