This is a very sweet story. It's a story about friendship and respect-one that any age can easily identify with. I liked that the chapters alternate between Alex and Bijou to show how different a situation can look from a new perspective.
I liked the multi-culturism of this book and the new facts I learned about Haiti and its people. I admired Alex and his courage to not only to learn about a new culture, but jump right in and embrace it. I liked that the characters comment on their differences, but then learned about the things they have in common. A big thing that brought them all together was music. I liked that the book showed how music can bridge all cultures, and showed how an American song can be played with a Haitian beat.
My only hang-up (and it's a small one) with this book is the age of the characters. They're in seventh grade, but, to me, they act a few years older. My son is in seventh grade, and I couldn't quite picture him being girl-crazy enough to go to such lengths to spend time with a girl. Maybe when he is in ninth grade, but not seventh. That being said, I loved that this book showed what kind of boys (gentlemen) that girls really respond to, and what kind they don't.
I really enjoyed that these main characters were presented as good, honest kids. They did make a few mistakes, but for the most part, really cared about the feelings of their friends and families.