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BRONXWOOD by Coe Booth

BRONXWOOD

By Coe Booth

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-439-92534-1
Publisher: PUSH/Scholastic

Booth returns to the gritty and dangerous Bronx projects to pick up the memorable story of Tyrell seven months after the conclusion of Tyrell (2006).

With his father out of jail, the now 16-year-old Tyrell has mixed feelings about having him back. “Two men in one house don’t work.” Tyrell tried keeping his family together while his pops was locked up, but he failed: Troy, his younger brother, is living in foster care. “…I know I fucked up,” he confides to readers. Booth packs a lot into this story: Tyrell’s guilt about Troy, his resentment toward his irresponsible father, his blossoming romantic relationship with friend Jasmine who is living with a 40-year-old man and his anger over his mother’s infidelity. The author captures the dangers of inner-city life as readers follow a teen trying desperately to be a man as he watches his friends and, especially, his father, make right or wrong choices. Despite the multitude of negative influences, Tyrell, who is no saint, attempts to make a better life for himself. Tyrell’s fresh voice and his frank talk about sex, drug use and violence give authenticity to the dismal urban setting.

This book can stand alone, but the cliffhanger ending begs another installment; readers who have been with Tyrell from the beginning as well as those meeting him for the first time will be utterly invested in his future. (Fiction. 14 & up)