JUST LET IT GO
14-year-old sophomore Saralita Gonsalves copes with her new school and community in Georgia. Grandma Tami becomes her legal guardian when Sara’s mom goes to prison. After a church service fellow calculus student, Evan, recognizes Sara. He exchanges greetings with them and says he will see Sara at football practice. Sara manages equipment for the Hillyer Hawks football team.
Evan and Sara become friends. They share their love of football, interest in aeronautics, and that neither one lives with their parents. Sara protects herself after an assault by a football player. Walking from mass Tami gets shot in the shoulder, and a bullet grazes Sara’s head. The police determine the shooter’s motive to be retaliation against Sara’s mom.
At the holidays Sara participates with the football team in a visit to a senior living facility and dances at a Ball. Her Christmas present is a visit to Family Space Camp during spring break, with Evan, his uncle and her grandma. Missing her mother catapaults Sara into a mental meltdown. With Evan’s help and counseling she begins to understand her being scared about everything that’s happened to her.
Sara gains the friendship of Marissa and Madala. She runs cross country and sings in a choir her second semester at Hillyer. Evan wants her to see other guys. She dates Gadan while Evan is away for the summer. Her Columbian biological dad writes to Sara. She begins to communicate with this man she has never known.
During her second fall semester Sara decides on being just friends with Evan. They visit the universities they have talked and dreamed about for so long, Georgia Tech for Sara, and Cal Tech for Evan. Sara appreciates the strong grandma she’s come to know and love. At a Christmas brunch Evan and Sara share how much they mean to each other. Evan helps her understand how far she’s come.
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