|Author:||Flake, Sharon G.|
|Publish Date:||Jul 2011|
|Number of Pages:||195|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.53|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.7 x 0.4 x 8.2|
Inner-city teens are often drawn to the harsh realism found in adult street lit, dismaying teachers and adult caregivers who worry that these young readers are not being exposed to quality literature. Flake (The Skin I'm In) fills the void with gritty yet superb prose that will entice young adults to read. Her nine stories profile a diverse group of young African American males, including a teenager pondering suicide and a 16-year-old who decides to marry his pregnant girlfriend. Thirteen brief poems are written in the form of text messages. One stands out: To the girls who text me, Then get mad when I don't text back, Oh well.
Verdict: Flake's writing can be teasingly brief or deeply complicated. She knows her audience, and African American teens will be thrilled to read stories about characters going through life situations similar to their own. Teachers, librarians, and parents should all acquire copies. Oh, and put it on all required readings lists, too.
-Rollie Welch, Collection Manager, Cleveland P.L.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In 9 stories and 15 poems, Sharon G. Flake provides insight into the minds of a diverse group adolescent African American males. There's Tow-Kaye, getting married at age 16 to love of his life, who's pregnant. He knows it's the right thing to do, but he's scared to death. James writes in his diary about his twin brother's terrible secret, which threatens to pull James down, too. Tyler explains what it's like to be a player with the ladies.
In a letter to his uncle, La'Ron confesses that he's infected with HIV. Eric takes us on a tour of North Philly on the Fourth of July, when the heat could make a guy go crazy. Still, he loves his hood. These and other unforgettable characters come to life in this collection of urban male voices. Sharon's G. Flake's talent for telling it like it is will leave readers thinking differently, feeling deeply, and definitely wanting more.
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