Tyrell by Coe Booth

tyrellTyrell’s life is in the trash—literally. Everything he owns fits in two black garbage bags. His dad’s doing time, his moms makes endless excuses about why she can’t get a job, and he and his little brother are living in one of the rattiest, roachiest family shelters around. But even though he’s down, don’t count Tyrell out. He’s still got his girlfriend Novisha on his side, and if he can only get ahold of his dad’s DJ equipment, he just might be able to throw down the party of the century, and make enough dough to get outta the shelter and back into the projects. Will Tyrell make it? Only God knows, but He sure ain’t been doing Tyrell any favors lately, so the only person Tyrell can count on is himself. Coe Booth’s debut novel for older teens reminds me of the work of my fav author E.R. Frank. (Both Booth and Frank are social workers who have worked with at risk teens) Tyrell is so real you won’t be able to believe he’s fiction. And his desire to do good in the face of overwhelming odds cuts through the tired stereotype of the fast-talking street thug who’s just trying to get over. Walk a few blocks of the Bronx in Tyrell’s kicks, and see what it’s really like living on the streets.

6 thoughts on “Tyrell by Coe Booth

  1. I snatched it up when I saw it in Voya. I sorta liked it, but I had a hard time keeping with it towards the end. I felt like it was a little long. But given how little ‘urban fiction’ there is out there, it was a welcome read!

  2. I was really into it–I especially liked how much Tyrell struggled with doing the right thing–he had a strong moral core, but the book was far from preachy. I’m just sorry that I put off reading it until it was in paper–it definitely would have made my top ten list last year.

  3. My students were fighting over it- we only have one copy! It is “good” urban fiction because Tyrell struggles with his environment, wants to help his family and not get sucked into the world of drugs and workin the system. Tyrell is a good character and his integrity wins in the end.

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