This week on Cassandra’s blog she want to know the 5 best books about surviving the teen years. I have some great books all readers should check out!.

  1. Patches of Grey by Roy L Pickering

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Tony Johnson is a studious young man planning to soon graduate from much more than high school. Although his zip code places him in a Bronx tenement, his sights are set far beyond the trappings of his humble upbringing. Collegiate dreams combined with falling in love with a white classmate put him strongly at odds with his father. Although his brother C.J.’s rebellious ways place him directly in the path of danger on gang ruled streets, and the virginal innocence of their sister Tanya is clearly approaching its demise, it is Tony who incurs the majority of Lionel Johnson’s wrath for the sins of ambition, daring to be with Janet Mitchell, and refusing to bend to his father’s will. Seeing unrealized goals reincarnated in the eyes of his eldest son harshly remind Lionel of what once could have been, and of what went wrong. His own childhood in a segregated southern town established a bitter, prejudiced outlook that is the only legacy he has to pass down to his children. When his job and role as primary breadwinner are lost, Lionel’s authority quickly erodes and he drowns his disappointment one drink at a time. This affords Tony, who lacks the seemingly servile patience of his mother, an opportunity to assert his right to become the man he wants to be rather than allowing his fate to be set by chance and circumstance. But throughout the course of Roy Pickering’s engrossing debut novel, Tony comes to learn that the world is not as black and white as he and his father’s opposing mindsets would suggest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Yummy by Greg Neri

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In August of 1994, 11-year-old Robert “Yummy” Sandifer — nicknamed for his love of sweets — fired a gun at a group of rival gangmembers, accidentally killing a neighborhood girl, Shavon Dean. Police searched Chicago’s southside for three days before finding Yummy dead in a railway tunnel, killed by members of the drug gang he’d sought to impress. The story made such an impact that Yummy appeared on the cover of TIME magazine, drawing national attention to the problems of inner city youth in America.
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty relives the confusion of these traumatic days from the point of view of Roger, a neighborhood boy who struggles to understand the senseless violence swirling through the streets around him. Awakened by the tragedy, Roger seeks out answers to difficult questions — was Yummy a killer or a victim? Was he responsible for his actions or are others to blame?

 

 

 

3. The First Excellence: Fa-ling’s Map by Donna Carrick

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What happens when East bleeds into West? Join Fa-ling on an incredible journey into the heart of mainland China as she sets out to discover the land of her birth. In order to determine her future, Fa-ling must unlock the mysteries of her past. To this end, she travels with a Canadian adoption group to the exotic southern province of Guang-Xi Zhuang.Searching for her lost heritage, Fa-ling encounters murder, kidnapping, political intrigue and organ theft. Together with Detective Wang Yong-qi and his brilliant but uncouth partner Cheng Minsheng, Fa-ling must uncover a high-stakes kidnapping plot — before another child goes missing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Three Minutes More by Edward O’Dell

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Michael Steven’s already troubled young life has taken a sudden, dramatic turn. Severely injured, he does not know if he’ll survive the night. Reflecting on the evening’s dreadful events, wondering if he could have done anything to alter them, his thoughts drift. Soon, he is contemplating his remarkable life, his dysfunctional family, and the possibility he might have to answer for his life to God. While vividly recalling the most amusing, distressing, bizarre, and disturbing events of his young life, he begins to see his life differently. He comes to understand that “the monster you know is far easier to deal with than the monster you don’t.”  Will he make it through the night? And if he does, will he find peace? In what form will it come?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Men in My Town by Keith Smith

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It is indeed rare when the young victim of a brutal crime grows up to reveal his story in a way that is both compelling and objective. Such is the case with Keith Smith in the gripping and deeply disconcerting bio-novel, Men in My Town. Based on his experience of having been abducted, beaten, and raped by a local pedophile, Smith reminds us how quickly the innocence of youth can be snatched away. But there are two stories here, one of despair, the other of revenge. While the boy in this novel shares the terror of the attack and the fear that grips his life thereafter, the reader is also pulled into the fictionalized account of his attacker’s murder, orchestrated by a few local men who take it upon themselves to seek retribution and give Smith, and other boys of Lincoln, Rhode Island, peace of mind. Who murdered him and how is the stuff of fiction. That the case was never solved is truth. A compelling and chilling story about violence, survival, and retribution.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT BOOKS WOULD BE ON YOUR LIST?

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