Bode, who specializes in books about young people with problems, presents some kids whose problems are immense but who have managed to rise above them. The individual stories are believably told in the voices of the teens themselves; they range through the homeless, pregnant, handicapped, abused, addicted, or imprisoned to those fighting immigration authorities in order to remain in this country. For most, it's sheer inner strength that pulls them through; they cite such survival tactics as self-esteem, determination, devotion to studies, persistance, faith, and good mentors. Alternate chapters give the points of view of adults--neighbor, counselor, psychologist, probation officer--who succinctly articulate survival skills; many have had bad times in their own youth. Bound to grip--and potentially valuable as a counseling tool. It says things that young people on the edge need to hear--Matthew's ""Don't limit yourself""; Rula's ""I am the only one of me. And I'm special""; or Keisha's enthusiastic ""I'm hot."" Includes a final list of steps to success that are both feasible and rational. The single ""source note"" hardly seems worth a whole page; bibliography.