I found this book to be riveting! Rival teenage black gangs from Oakland fighting for love, money, and honor. Very realistic and heart wrenching. Unfortunately the profound use of bad language makes it impossible for me to put it on my classroom shelves. It would make JD Sallinger blush.
Gordon, age thirteen, is the leader of the Friends, a gang of young black boys who struggle to hold a few blocks of bleak, ragged turf in Oaklandknown to the homeboys as OaktownCalifornia. When a more powerful sixteen-year-old drug dealer tries to set the Friends against their neighboring rival gang, the Crew, the dealer's unwilling bodyguard emerges as the key player in a drama that illuminates America's urban reality in a totally new way. A shocking portrait of young kids living on the slimmest of edges, Way Past Cool is also an inspiring, even hopeful testament to the renewing power of love.