Wonderful book! A personal narrative of a journalist who volunteers to teach a writing class in juvenile hall that has heart, wit, and great character development.
The author records his experiences teaching a voluntary class on writing to incarcerated juvenile offenders. With no "rules of writing" and just notebooks as tools, these adolescents find themselves expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings in a way they weren't able to before. They also tell their background stories; some poignant, some self-serving, and some quite painful to hear. I found the best part of this book to be the parts when reading about these young mens' growth in self-expression. The part I liked the least was the way Salzman taught the class. I found the class too open-ended in that the boys' could write whatever they wanted without learning anything about the art of writing. Salzman reminds me of the psychiatrist who has his patient just sitting in front of him while the doctor just nods and ocassionally makes a comment. In fact, this was really more of a therapy class done in the old fashioned analyst style with a small group of troubled boys. Nonetheless, the book is a worthwhile reading experience just from getting to know the boys and seeing how for the first time they are able to share their pasts and current thoughts and feelings that have led them to incarceration.
Fascinating and disturbing!
I really enjoyed this book. It is not a detailed narrative or a story, per se. It is a collection of essays that the author has put into context only be telling a bit of the boys' lives and his feelings about them at the time that they wrote.
This is an awesome book, I'm almost sad to give it up.It follows the author through a year volunteering to help youth learn to write a Juvenile Hall.
Great! portrays the dichotomy of trying to help, but only being able to do as much as a person is ready to accept.
I stumbled on this book at the library. What a great find! It is an inspirational story that allows teens to tell their stories from jail.
The author teaches a writing class in a jail. The men in the class warm up to him and make great amazing students and writers.
I listened to this book while sewing. It's a well written bittersweet tale of a writer looking for inspiration, but instead ends up lending inspiration to some kids who really need it. He acts only as a liaison in getting kids who are in trouble to write their thoughts and feelings down on paper. He is not an authoritative person in their life, therefore he is "safe". They respect him and want to please him. Many of the kids he deals with are murderers on the outside, but scared little boys on the inside. Over the course of time, they all learn a few things about each other and more importantly, themselves. The journals or stories from these kids in juvenile detention are raw, heartfelt, and often very deep. I found myself rooting for these kids and praying that no more will follow in their sad footsteps.
SOFTCOVER, BUT SAME SIZE AND COVER