You Don’t Even Know Me: Stories and poems about BOYS by Sharon G. Flake

Though I am grateful for many things this Thanksgiving weekend, one item that tops my list is Sharon G. Flake’s new collection of short stories and poems featuring teenage boys and their angst. She is one of the hippest authors for teens around, and a new title from her is ALWAYS cause for celebration. This book is a companion piece to one of her earlier works, Who Am I Without Him? Short stories about girls and the boys in their lives (a title I have successfully shopped to so many teens I’ve lost count), and provides the adolescent 411 from the dudes’ POV. Navigating issues from teen marriage and suicide, to neighborhood politics and hot moms who attract unwanted attention, these guys struggle to make sense of the world around them while trying to solve that most maddening of mysteries—what makes girls tick? Flake also dishes up some hot poetry in this collection, including this excerpt from the title poem, “You Don’t Even Know Me”: You tell me to quit fronting,/ You ask who I think I am,/Pretending/That I’m better than you know I really am./…You know/I’ve been wondering lately,/Trying to figure out just how it could be/That we call each other brother,/And you still don’t know a thing about me/ There’s some surprises here, too. I like all the stories, but my favorite just might be “Fakin’ It,” about a last-chance boy who’s been kicked out of every one of his relatives’ homes and is now about to be kicked out of his aunt’s house, a six million dollar lottery winner. Despite her new money and resources, she still has old-school rules and he still can’t seem to follow them no matter how many chances she gives him. Unusual and unsettling because we like to think money solves everything, I just can’t get that story out of my head. So if you want to be moved to tears, laugh out loud, or be lit up with surprise, then this is YOUR book.

9 thoughts on “You Don’t Even Know Me: Stories and poems about BOYS by Sharon G. Flake

  1. I couldn’t keep Who I Am I Without Him on the shelves. I’m a huge Flake fan, too. So glad you posted about this new release. Definitely adding it to our wish list.

    Much love and mad respect for what you do here.

  2. Thanks, Susan! I’m an unabashed fan of Flake’s stuff, and it always circulates. We have The Skin I’m In practically every middle school classroom here as well. She’s terrific!

  3. Definitely getting this one and am going to go back and read Who Am I Without Him…students love short stories and end up gobbling the whole book anyway. Thanks!

  4. Thanks to all of you Sharon G. Flake fans! Sharon is my sheroe, her passion and commitment to lifting up young people through literature is soul touching! Her collection of work is a blessing as I work to transform the lives of youth.

    You Don’t Even Know Me… another POWERFUL gift! I’ve been honored to develop the discussion guide with my brother, who’s a high school educator and mentor.
    Stay tuned, I’m also developing something else to support the book.

    PLEASE continue to support Sharon, send her all the prayers, positive thoughts and energy you can.

    In Spirit, PEACE & Hope, Robin

  5. I actually didn’t like this book. I didn’t necessarily dislike it, but the internal voice didn’t seem authentic. As hard as she tried, I think it’s hard for a woman to understand how men think. I don’t claim to know what women think, so I don’t write like I do. Like the ladies at COSMO who claim they can tell you what guys are thinking. If you want to know what a guy is thinking, you need to ask th guy. Most urban males don’t care about free verse poetry, however, most do like poems that rhyme, it’s easy to relate to, like rap. I don’t mean to sound like a hater, but to me, the inner voice was just way off.

  6. I just read this book and absolutely loved it. My students are greedy for Sharon Flake’s writing,so will love having it on our shelves!

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