January 26, 2010

Teen searches for maternal roots

by William Bell

Zack's father is Jewish and his mother is African-American. So Zack has a bit of an identity crisis. He's also angry that he was given no choice when his parents decided to move to a new town. Disinterested in school, he's given a chance to salvage his grades with an independent history project. His research into Richard Pierpont, a former African slave, inspires Zack to look for his maternal grandfather. What he discovers about the man reveal the roots of a family mystery and forges a more understanding relationship with his parents.

The story begins slowly, with some clunky, over-descriptive sentences, but it improves with each chapter. Zack's growth is mirrored by those of his parents, especially his mother, as she realizes that she must always tell her son the truth.

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