Souljah, Sister. (1999). The Coldest Winter Ever. New York: Atria Books.
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Seventeen year-old Winter's kush lifestyle changes dramatically after a series of bad events. Winter must do what she can to hustle and survive on the streets of Brooklyn.
Do you remember New York's Coldest Winter Ever? Out of it a young urban princess, Winter, was born into a lavish lifestyle supported by her drug-dealing father, Ricky Santiaga, Santiaga took care of everything and everyone; he and his crew ran Brooklyn. Everything in Winter's life is perfect, her biggest concern being which outfit to floss or which diamond necklace to rock. Once her father is busted and her mom abandons her for a life of drugs Winter finds herself on her own for the first time ever. As Winter's life changes she finds new friends and new enemies, she learns who to trust and who will rat her out. Winter learns new shocking truths that shake her world as she thought she knew everything.
But really we women don’t have to do anything to be beautiful. It’s a gift from God. The woman is. Somewhere along the line many of us as women are led to believe that being pretty is enough. And while we rely on that, we forget to strengthen our minds so that we can learn how to think, how to build. How to survive. We forget how to live our lives to protect our spirit, to be clean and decent. We forget that everything we do matters so much.
Winter proves true the old adage that whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Her journey will change her and her life won't be what she expected. Will ever find someone who she can trust? Will her family ever be the same again? Will she survive another Coldest Winter Ever?
- YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Hard Knock Life Category, 2010