Despite his up-bringing, Tyrell is a pretty decent kid who stands behind his friends and tries to stay out of as much trouble as he can. This is a pretty difficult feat because he’s surrounded by it most of the time. At one point or another in the story the poor kid really is faced with nearly ever bad thing you would anticipate someone living in an inner-city would struggle with. It’s an interesting story, but the language is very distracting. I understand Coe Booth is trying to keep it authentic (and I’m sure it is) but it’s very jarring to read. That said, the story certainly makes you appreciate that you’re not living that life or having to deal with the horrible situations Tyrell has to deal with on a daily basis. A lot can be learned from him as well; no matter what your situation is, you still have a choice and it’s up to you to make the best one you can. Want to get in the head of an inner-city teenage boy? Read this book.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic
Profanity/Language: 4 religious exclamations; 115 mild obscenities; 3 religious profanities; 21 derogatory names; 420 scatological words; 105 anatomical terms; 185 f-word derivatives.
Violence/Gore: Thinking about and considering hurting someone; verbal threats; second hand reports of shootings; second hand reports of spousal and child abuse; characters fighting and getting beat up; gun pulled on character; getting punched; child watching father beat mother.
Sex/Nudity: Innuendo; character thinking about having sex; references to man being a pimp; character thinking about another character showering and in bathing suit; reference to masturbation; discussion and mention of character never having had sex; reference to homosexuality; characters doing everything up to the point of having sex; implied sexual activity; mention of characters cheating on partners; stripper referenced; sexual activity without explicit detail between minors as well as minor with adult.
Mature Subject Matter:
Illegal activities; Incarceration of a Parent; Spousal Abuse; Drug Dealing; Shootings; Gambling; Homelessness; Parental Abandonment; Robbery; Sexual Activity.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Cans of beer all over the house; smoking cigarettes and marijuana; characters dealing drugs; minors and adults drinking on several occasions during parties and while at home; father and son drinking alcohol and getting high at home; teenager given prescription pain medication and friend jokingly asking for some.