The Black Sheep
by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
YA, Fiction: Ages 12 and up
Hyperion Books for Children
Reviewed by Terry South for Quality Book Reviews
The Black Sheep is a funny and entertaining read. The setting is New York and then off to California. It begins as Kendra Bishop a fifteen year old who has had enough of her parents and all their rules; they even keep a binder filled with these rules. There is a reality TV show that offers teens a chance to swap families, so Kendra decides to write to the show for her chance to get away from it all. The winner is chosen on the basis of the most pathetic letter written, Kendra is excited to find she has actually won.
Kendra is taken from her apartment in Manhattan to California to live with the Mulligan family. They are so different, the parents are both hippies, have five children and a pet ferret. Kendra learns quickly the chaos of sharing a bathroom with so many, having to watch her belongings, and living with a ferret that wants to sleep in her bed. But her biggest problem is the pushy producer who will do anything to get higher ratings. And to top all of this Kendra falls for one of the Mulligan’s, Mitch who is seventeen and despises everything this show stands for. Will Kendra win Mitch over or will things continue to decline for her?
Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout bring us a cast of characters who are engaging and winsome. The story is well crafted and pulls the reader into the conflicted feelings and reasoning of Kendra so well.