Maryann moves in with her grandparents after she’s orphaned. Desperately lonely, she sets out to befriend a neighboring deathly ill, bed-ridden boy, despite the outright disapproval of his mother. Maryann’s persistence pays off, however, and during a series of secret visits she gradually uncovers some seriously sinister goings-on in the house.
Set in Harlem in 1987, Claireece “Precious” Jones is a 16-year-old African American girl born into a life no one would want. She’s pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother, an angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is chaotic and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and a secret–she can’t read.