Tyrell’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.
Tyrell by Coe Booth