by Joyce Hansen


In this sentimental sequel to The Gift-Giver, Doris begins her narration only a few weeks after her friend Amir has left the Bronx for his new home in Syracuse. Doris is moody and depressed, missing Amir so much that all she can think about is earning enough money to go visit him. Nothing is working out for her, though, as her friends tease her, her new teacher Mrs. Barker is mean, her parents won't let her keep her job at the beauty parlor, and crazy Yellow Bird keeps pestering her to help him with his reading problem. When Amir writes back, he tells Doris not to come yet and to take care of Bird. Reluctantly, Doris discovers that despite his problem, Bird is smart and a good friend. Bird's difficulties are too big for Doris to handle by herself, and with the help of the new drama club teacher, Bird gets the lead in the play. There are surprises for both Bird and Doris at the end of the story, and a final letter to Amir shows that Doris has learned how to become her own "Amir."