When Franklin Dell lived in Denver, Colorado he and his group of friends sold candy in their middle school, fought gang violence and enjoyed a nearly peaceful seventh grade year. Franklin has always bragged about how Winston-Salem, North Carolina was his dream home. He enjoyed the predominantly African American neighborhood he was in and wants nothing more than to leave the thuggish, ruggish gangster ways of Denver behind. Upon arriving in Winston-Salem, he finds that the city is nothing how he imagined it being from his summer visits from Denver. He can’t get a long with anyone at his new school except for Mike Lane, a fourteen year old bad a$$ who happens to be gay. As Franklin and Mike grow up, they find that real friendship means strength to stand up for someone’s inner self even when others don’t. They help each other face discrimination, sexual trials, fatherhood and then, off to college they go. But when something happens to potentially end one of their lives and their friendship, will these young men be able to face their challenges together?
Walter Dean Myers
Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. A Harlem drugstore owner was shot and killed in his store, and the word is that Steve served as the lookout.
Guilty or innocent, Steve becomes a pawn in the hands of “the system,” cluttered with cynical authority figures and unscrupulous inmates, who will turn in anyone to shorten their own sentences. For the first time, Steve is forced to think about who he is as he faces prison, where he may spend all the tomorrows of his life.
As a way of coping with the horrific events that entangle him, Steve, an amateur filmmaker, decides to transcribe his trial into a script, just like in the movies. He writes it all down, scene by scene, the story of how his whole life was turned around in an instant. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred and his vision obscured until he can no longer tell who he is or what is the truth. This compelling novel is Walter Dean Myers’s writing at its best.
2000 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, 2000 Michael L. Printz Award, 1999 National Book Award Finalist, 01 Heartland Award for Excellence in YA Lit Finalist, 00-01 Tayshas High School Reading List, and 00-01 Black-Eyed Susan Award Masterlist
2000 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA), Hornbook Fanfare 2000, Michael L. Printz Award 2000, 2000 Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor Book, 2000 Quick Picks for Young Adults (Recomm. Books for Reluctant Young Readers), and 2000 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)
“D Foster showed up a few months before Tupac got shot that first time and left us the summer before he died.”
The day D Foster enters Neeka and her best friend’s lives, the world opens up for them. D comes from a world vastly different from their safe Queens neighborhood, and through her, the girls see another side of life that includes loss, foster families and an amount of freedom that makes the girls envious. Although all of them are crazy about Tupac Shakur’s rap music, D is the one who truly understands the place where he’s coming from, and through knowing D, Tupac’s lyrics become more personal for all of them.
The girls are thirteen when D’s mom swoops in to reclaim D and as magically as she appeared, she now disappears from their lives. Tupac is gone, too, after another shooting; this time fatal. As the narrator looks back, she sees lives suspended in time, and realizes that even all-too-brief connections can touch deeply.
It’s near the end of The Civil War, and rumors of emancipation are swirling. Eleven-year-old Luke decides to run away to freedom and join the Union Army. But he doesn’t find the Yankee troops he was hoping for. Instead, he finds nine-year-old Daylily, lost in the woods after suffering an unspeakable tragedy. Her master set her free, but freedom so far has her scared and alone.
Also lost in the woods is seven-year-old Caswell, the son of a plantation owner. He was only trying to find his Mamadear after the Yankees burned their house with all their fine things. He wanted to be brave. But alone in the woods with two slave children, he quickly loses all his courage, and comes to greatly depend upon his new friends. In the chaos and violence that follows, the three unrelated children discover a bond in each other stronger than family.
A touching, beautifully written narrative, Black Angels is a riveting, special read.
Brenda Woods now presents the gritty story of the beautiful and ill-fated Emako Blue, who was destined to be a star. From the moment she stands up in chorus auditions and her heavenly voice fills the room, Emako Blue profoundly affects anyone who meets her. But even as Emako draws together new friends and catches the attention of an important record producer, the streets of South Central Los Angeles are never far away, where everything changes in one horrific instant.
Told in the stark, contemporary voices of Emako’s friends, Emako Blue boldly examines how bonds are forged and relationships can be torn apart in a world of unavoidable violence. Emako Blue will make you think, even as it makes you cry.
There’s joy in her heart, and it’s for real — Jasmine’s in love! She never thought she’d be boy-crazy like her girlfriends Camille, Alexis, and Angel, but now Jasmine and football star C. J. Taylor are inseparable — they’ve even been voted the school’s cutest couple. And with love in the air, everything seems to be going right: Jasmine’s mom has allowed her and C. J. to go out on dates, and even her relationship with her brother Jaquan has improved. Maybe love is contagious! But Jasmine’s happiness is shattered when a neighborhood gang begins harassing Jaquan — and trouble quickly escalates to tragedy. With C. J. and his family caught in the crossfire of lies and violence, Jasmine will have to hold on tighter than ever to her faith, to the friends who have never let her down, and to the belief that love truly does conquer all.