Harry Sue is one of the best books I've read in 2006. Super tender, super funny, and very engaging. I don't think I'll ever assign it or use it with elementary aged kids (drugs and violence), but I've given up worrying about that all the time--it was worth the read for my own sweet pleasure. I certainly hope many of my former students, now middle-schoolers, however, will find it on their own.
Harry Sue is planning to become a con so she can join her mom in prison. She speaks con-speak, has a repitoire of con-looks, and has a crew she runs with, including a best friend who is also serving "hard time." She lives with an extremely abusive guardian and is all set for her life of crime--but try as she might, Harry Sue can't quite turn her tender heart evil.
The interacial couple composed of a 30 year old Sudanese man who cooks and his wife, a wild-spirited white woman was only icing on the cake of this wonderful story. Harry Sue's love of the book even made me want to read the original Wizard of Oz. Thank you Madame Esme, for the rec.