This book should be required reading for all youth between the ages of 9 and 18. Tookie, the founder of the infamous Crips gang, relates his experiences in prison. He does not glorify doing time nor does he get especially graphic but his message is quite clear: do what you must to stay out of prison. He strongly advocates getting a diploma and staying away from drugs and gangs. I do realize in some situations it is extremely difficult to say no with peer pressure, anger and hopelessness everywhere. I enjoyed his story, it was a very quick read and recommend it.
I'd say this is a great book for any pre-teen or teen. I'm 30 years old and I even enjoyed it but it's most definitely geared for a younger crowd. The author is one of two people who co-founded the The Crips as a teen and has since spent many, many years on Death Row. There are a few pictures but what hits home more are his words. He manages to tell about prison life while NOT doing what his so-called "friend" did when he was a teen, which is glorifing prison life. The book is very simply written but does keep you interested in what Williams has to say. What I have to say is what a shame. What a shame that this man took the path he did because he's obviously very intelligent. Then again, maybe this was the path meant for him so he could help others? He is probably doing a world of good out there between the books, the website and his charity.
I also think this is a good read for any young person- whether they live near a gang, idolize gang behavior, etc., this book bascially could help steer any child towards a better path if they're open to it.
Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize - this short easy read book is geared at teens who have or want to join a gang. Written from the heart of a man prone to prior violence. The book gives a web site that will educate you about the life and death of this man, a co-founder of the infamous gang the "crips"