Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Coldest Winter Ever

Annotation: The privileged and precocious daughter of a successful Brooklyn drug boss is challenged to survive on her own when her family is torn apart and the financial security she has always known disappears

Winter grew up in the projects of Brooklyn, but don’t assume that meant she grew up poor. Behind the extra security locks of the entrance to her family’s apartment, was a world of privilege and luxury; fancy electronics, the latest designer fashions and diamonds galore! Winter’s parents married young, but her father Santiaga more than got ahead; his illegal drug empire employed men throughout the community and provided Winter, her sisters and their mother all the comforts and cash they desired. Winter attended school occasionally, but spent most of her time shopping, hanging with girlfriends and hooking up with men worthy of her attention and brave enough to risk facing Santiaga’s wrath. Winter was spoiled, but she wasn’t scared of the streets and she knew how to prepare for a fight with Vaseline on, jewelry off and a razor stashed in her mouth.

“I knew these streets like I knew the curves of my own body. I was like the princess of these alleyways, back staircases, and whatnot.”

But all it takes is one night for Winter’s entire family and life to begin to quickly unravel. Santiaga warns her:

“Winter, you gotta be tough. It’s time. Remember everything I taught you. Keep your ears open. Follow the directions I gave you to the letter, and just play your hand close to your chest.”

She’s always been scrappy and crafty, a confident and self-assured fighter. But can she really survive on her own without her father’s money and power? Will Winter succumb to the streets or will she follow Santiaga’s instructions and stop the downward spiral?

Click here to listen to Sister Souljah speak about The Coldest Winter Ever!

  • YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Hard Knock Life Category 2010

Souljah, Sister. The Coldest Winter Ever. New York: Washington Square, 1999. Print.

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