A teenage mother from the New York Projects wants to get to college - but she's got to learn to spell first...Raven's life has been derailed. She never expected she'd be a mother at sixteen like her best friend, Aisha. Is she going to be just another high school dropout, a project girl with few prospects? Could be - except Raven has ambition. Still, when is she going to find the time to finish school? In the few minutes she's not looking for a job or caring for her son, Smokey? Then her older sister Dell tells her about a spelling competition that promises the winner enrolment in a college preparatory programme and a scholarship for college itself. Spelling? It's Raven's worst subject. But Raven is determined to win, and so she starts memorising words.In Janet McDonald's powerful and funny novel, a smart and resilient young woman whose life isn't what she dreamed it would be learns that there are many ways to spell "success".