Note: This post is part of a series on School Library Media/Materials for a course
Booth, C. (2011). Bronxwood. New York: Push.
Tyrell’s father is just out of jail. His brother Troy is in foster care and that his mother is no help. Tyrell’s father, fresh out of jail, wants him to be a kid again (after stepping up and being responsible for his mother and brother), Tyrell’s roommates want him to start dealing. The girls he’s been seeing want him for his money, his time, his talent. Tyrell’s under pressure to figure out who he is and where he belongs. Told from Tyrell’s point of view, the book delves into themes of finding one’s place in times of change, self-discovery and family dynamics.
As with many other titles, this book explores many themes common to the teen/young adult genre but does so within an environment of the Bronxwood projects in New York, an environment not well-known to those who don’t live there. For this reason, it is an important asset to any library collection, as it adds to the diversity of the collection. It may be difficult for some readers to adjust to the conversational style of the book, but this is not a weakness, just something I wanted to note. Few books are about young African American protagonists and few books are written by African American authors, as such, this title is important for a diverse collection. This title is also considered a good book for reluctant readers. As with Akeelah and the Bee, I feel that this title is especially important to include in New Mexico libraries because our African American population is very small and so materials for the African American community may be overlooked. This is not to say that African American teens will only want to read books about African American teens (this should be assessed during a Reader’s Advisory interview), but having those titles available is important for students who do want to read books with protagonists with whom they may identify.
English/Language Arts Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
Links to supporting content:
Note: the following videos contain language some viewers may find offensive:
Subjects/themes: identity, families, coming of age
Series information: This is a continuation of Tyrell’s story. The first book is Tyrell.