Bronxwood by Coe Booth
Interesting Facts: This is the sequel to the novel Tyrell and can be described as realistic fiction. It confronts issues such as prison, drugs, teen pregnancy, foster care, and domestic abuse. Bronxwood is located in the Bronx of New York and it is known for its poverty and violence.
Note: This may be a great guy read! If you like rap music such as Tupac, there are plenty of references to his music here. Something you might also want to know is that it contains profanity which should be expected because of the setting and situation that Ty lives in.
About the Book:
This is the story of Tyrell, a 16 year old that lives in the tough projects of New York. Tyrell's life isn't easy, especially at his age! His father has been in and out of prison which has forced his family into homeless shelters and all other kinds of ordeals. Ty has started to DJ in order to make some cash in efforts to support himself, his brother, and his mother. Even though his father is out of prison now, Ty doesn't expect him to help much. Ty's 9 year old brother is still stuck in foster care and Tyrell himself hasn't even been asked to move back with his parents now that they have a place of their own. Staying out of trouble gets harder to avoid as his roommates continue to pressure him to join them in the drug business. He doesn't know if he can move back in with his parents or if he even wants to but he does know that he really needs to find another place to live and it better be soon. To make matters worse, his dad is set on proving that he is the only man in the family and that Ty still needs him. His father acts oblivious to how much Ty has had to grow up in his absence. His mother is another story, that woman doesn't seem to want to do anything, literally! Aside from all this drama, Ty has some girls to deal with particularly his "bff," Jasmine, who also happens to be extremely hott. As Jasmine and Ty develop stronger feelings for each other, they are met with a huge barrier that they don't even know how or if it can be overcome.
Why read it?
Some may be able to identify with the issues that Ty faces such as witnessing domestic violence in the family, having a parent locked up, being homeless, or trying to stay out of trouble when everyone around you is trying to pressure you into it.
Some may have never faced these sort of issues, but it is eye-opening to read about what others may be facing in their homes or communities. We might not know a close friend in this type of situation but we might be surprised to find that many of our students, neighbors, or co-workers have lived through things like this. Just because we have not experienced these unfortunate events ourselves does not mean that we have to remain oblivious to them.
This book helps raise awareness about how teen pregnancies can change ones life and responsibilities, the consequences of illegal actions, how parental actions affect their children, and the lack of value a woman sets on herself as she puts up with domestic violence.
P.S. You will more than likely understand Bronxwood even if you haven't read Tyrell but its so much better when you read it in order...its as if you have formed a bond with the characters.
Site to Check Out:
Author's Twitter Page
Facebook Page for Teen Books
Coe Booth's Official Site