The Book Reviews – Website

August 30, 2009

Begging for Change

Filed under: B — thebookreviews @ 7:03 pm
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Begging for Change

Author: Sharon G. Flake

Page Length: 248         

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: Raspberry lives with her mom who has been beaten up by Shiketa, a teen-age girl in their neighborhood.  While her mom is in the hospital, Raspberry’s father visits which is an unpleasant experience for her because he will steal and lie to anyone to get money for drugs.  Raspberry is anxious to leave the hospital with Zora, her friend, and Zora’s dad, Dr. Mitchell, who her mom dates. 

While eating dinner that evening, Zora and Dr. Mitchell both leave the table.  Raspberry feels compelled to look into Zora’s purse and instinctively takes the cash from her wallet.  Raspberry doesn’t know why she took Zora’s money, but doesn’t know how to give it back.

When her mom returns home from the hospital, there is tension between Shiketa’s friends and Raspberry and her mother.  Raspberry spends the summer days working and hanging out with other teens in the neighborhood.  Zora becomes stand offish but does not confront Raspberry about the stolen money and doesn’t tell her dad. 

As each day passes, Raspberry feels tension about her theft, but when the opportunity arises to steal from a neighbor lady, she takes more money.  When Raspberry’s father comes to her apartment and steals her own money, Raspberry knows how Zora must feel towards her. When Zora insists that Raspberry tell Dr. Mitchell about stealing the money, Raspberry makes up a lie to tell the doctor and her mom.  Raspberry begins to wonder if she is like her dad—a thief and a liar.

The summer passes with Zora and Raspberry not speaking, her friend, Mai, having bi-racial issues, a romance developing with Sato, another theft by her father, and a move to a nicer part of town. Raspberry has a good support system from her mom, Dr. Mitchell, and her friends but she has a love for money. It is only after she sees her dad, finally drug free, that she can admit her guilt.  She realizes she was “begging for change” not only through monetary means, but in her own life style.

REVIEW: This is the sequel to Money Hungry, whose main character, Raspberry Hill, continues to display a love for money. The book started out a little slow, but as the characters and plot developed, I became more interested.  Middle school and junior high African American girls would probably enjoy this book the most.  The relationship between the girlfriends is very realistic to the feelings 12-14 year-olds experience.

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: References to drug use

AREAS OF TEACHING: Characters, Theme, Conflict, and Point of View

RELATED BOOKS: Chill Wind, Spellbound, and Money Hungry

MOVIE CONNECTIONS: Daddy’s Little Girls (2006)


REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner



  1. its ZORA not NORA.

    Comment by emem — October 27, 2009 @ 9:45 am | Reply

    • thank you for the edit

      Comment by thebookreviews — November 15, 2009 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

  2. my comment is that i love this website because it always answer my question when i have some. thanks for this website please keep it going for

    sincerely: angeleeek brown

    Comment by angeleek brown — October 20, 2010 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  3. this book is great.

    Comment by jasmine Hamm — February 13, 2012 @ 2:05 pm | Reply

  4. what is the external conflict?

    Comment by Anonymous — September 30, 2012 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  5. I loved this book im just Making a Book Report for my Language Arts Teacher thats due on tuesday the 9th And im kinda confused on the template.

    Comment by Jasmine Turner — October 8, 2012 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

  6. These are the most stuidest comments i have ever seen exept for number 1 lolllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll LMAOOOOOOOOO LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Comment by Anonymous — December 21, 2012 @ 1:17 am | Reply


    Comment by Anonymous — December 21, 2012 @ 1:18 am | Reply

  8. excellent points altogether, you simply gained
    a new reader. What may you suggest about your put up
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    Comment by — April 17, 2013 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

  9. How many chapters does Begging For Change have?

    Comment by Anonymous — October 17, 2013 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

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