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Guide If I Grow Up

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Many teenagers drop out of school and join gangs, and every kid knows someone who died. Gunshots ring out on a regular If I Grow Up. Gunshots ring out on a regular basis. DeShawn is smart enough to know he should stay in school and keep away from the gangs. But while his friends have drug money to buy fancy sneakers and big-screen TVs, DeShawn's family can barely afford food for the month. This would make a great read aloud in a junior high or high school classroom.

Sep 02, Andrew R added it. Nov 21, Cody Armendariz rated it really liked it. The book was good. It made me think about my own life. I would recommend it to anyone who likes drama and a bit of mystery. Aug 16, kelly rated it it was ok Shelves: I didn't like this book at all. This book is the story of DeShawn, a kid growing up in a housing project in an large, unnamed American city many details in the setting, however, seem to suggest that the book takes place in Chicago.

When the story begins he is a wide-eyed year-old, living in poverty with his grandmother and watching the violence and gang warfare around him. It ends 5 years later with the main character at 17, now a hardened gang leader and participating the same v No no no It ends 5 years later with the main character at 17, now a hardened gang leader and participating the same violence he once feared.

This is a quick read aimed at lower-level young adult readers. While I can understand the simplicity of it to certain degree, for me it was way too simple. There were far too many stereotypes here to be of any teachable use, i. It's too predictable--nothing we or his youth audience haven't already read before or know by heart from a song by their favorite rapper. The language is also dreadfully out of touch for the lifestyle the author's describing, even by 's standards. Girls are "shorties," crackheads are "hypes," and if you act up, you'll get your "butt" kicked.

LOL urban teenagers don't talk that way. These blurbs don't belong here. It's as if the author doesn't trust his own story to make his point and let the reader get it. In the back of this book, the author says that he wrote this because he was shocked by what he found in speaking to impoverished urban teens. White suburban ignorance is exactly why this book is one of the reasons why I feel diverse literature BY diverse authors is so important. While I am not saying that white authors cannot write about black people, his lack of true understanding on the culture of Black poverty is apparent.

Giving statistics on drop out and incarceration rates to a young and presumably black audience does not necessarily inspire them to stay in their failing schools or away from the gangs that feed their families, particularly if they are from the very doomed neighborhoods he's writing about. What you get here is a tone of pity and not empathy, which is the opposite of what was probably intended. Don't read this book. Sep 07, Lizbeth Sablon rated it it was amazing.

The book If I Grow Up by: There was so much realism and I feel like this book would leave a major impact on how people perceive certain areas. This book was written in the perspective of a boy named Deshawn who lives in the projects. He can either keep going to school and have a job that could barely get him by or he could choose to join a gang and fight his way up to the top. Not any good ones anyways. I am not justifying his actions at all but, after everything he went through it made me sad to see his journey ended the way it did. Throughout the book but more towards the end there is a lot of talk between Deshawn and his friends about how school is just setting you up for working in a white man's world.

This was then emphasized when the police showed up to Frederick Douglass Project where a nine and ten year old accidentally shot a pregnant woman. After this happened Deshawn talked about how people are always saying they want to make a change in the projects but never do because of fear. Another example is when a lady had overdosed and the paramedics were too scared to go up and help the girl because they thought that it was a set up.

This really opened my eyes to realize that, that happens in our everyday lives. We have the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to those types of things. Overall I would definitely recommend this book. It is a very realistic and powerful book and will open your eyes to real world problems not everyone things about. May 19, Jeremiah rated it it was amazing.

This book was an incredible read and it is about this kid named Deshawn and he lived in a really tough neighborhood in Chicago and the name of this place is called Fredrick Douglas Projects and it was definitely really tough living there. The author of this book is named Todd Strasser. Mike strasser has also made other books related to this book such as Give a Boy a Gun and Fallout. It starts of as a boy named Darnell getting thrown off of a building from the Douglas Disciples rival gang the Ge This book was an incredible read and it is about this kid named Deshawn and he lived in a really tough neighborhood in Chicago and the name of this place is called Fredrick Douglas Projects and it was definitely really tough living there.

It starts of as a boy named Darnell getting thrown off of a building from the Douglas Disciples rival gang the Gentry Gangstas.

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The leader of the Disciples goes by the name of Marcus and the leader of the Gangstas was a guy named Rance. Then from there it just keeps going downhill from there especially when Deshawn decides to join the Disciples as well. Deshawn started off as a really good kid, he was actually one of the smartest kids in his school and his teachers wanted him to go to a better school than where he was at so he could have more of a challenge.

Deshawn was really on a good path but the deeper and deeper he got into the gang the worse he got. Everyone thought he was going be a kid to go down the right path and do the right thing but he just let all the money and perks get to him. Deshawn also ends up having a kid as well but you have to read the book on that point of the story. I feel like the author was really trying to get to people by showing what going down a bad path could do to people and how dangerous it really is to be in a gang and not realizing your consequences if you get caught up.

There is a lot of plot changes in this story and I really believe it is a great book and think everyone should at least try reading the book because it really shows how your life could turn out if you take the wrong path. I feel like the book is written really well because every time you think about just setting down the book you just keep on reading because there is always something good that is going on in every moment of the book. It really was kind of an easy read as well.

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May 16, Hser Moo rated it really liked it. This book is about teenagers who live in the hood they were poor no one want to go nearby because is danger is full of gangster. But they only allowed peoples live there if they know them. Kids or teenagers who live in this place call Frederick Douglass project will never have good education or become good person. DeShawn was the main character lives with his gramma and sister no parent. He the only good kid in Frederick Douglass he has so many friends also he went to school not as many as teacher was except but is fine least he went.

This book told by third person. Marcus was the leader in Frederick Douglass his has lot of disciples to service him. Gun was fired almost every 30 min.

If I Grow Up

DeShawn knows all the people in Frederick Douglass matter fact he know the gang leader too. There two gangster team Marcus team and other one is DeShawn girlfriend brother team. One day DeShawn and his friend Terrell get in to trouble because they steal something and they are tie up. He always takes easy never go to war with other gang and his disciples get kill most of time. After they found out it was Jamar His kill Marcus because he wants to take over Marcus place and make a war.

Later on they are fight each other and get spread out some of them went to jail and some of them choose new life to live. DeShawn became father his has one child. This book is actually great book they are so many things to learn from. How life be like live in the place that is full of gangster. I recommend to you guys please read this book. Apr 01, Lisa rated it liked it. He has some good influences in his life such as a grandma that holds the family together and tries to resist the gang life that surrounds him.

Ultimately, though, poverty and lack of perceived choices test that resolve. I didn't really like the book because it's not the kind of story I normally would read. That said, the characters were interesting. Strasser portrays them as multidimensional - they are not all strictly This story is about a young boy, DeShawn, growing up in the projects in NYC.

Strasser portrays them as multidimensional - they are not all strictly "bad" or "good". Strasser puts some interesting twists into the end of the story. Hopefully readers will take away the message he intended. There is definitely a lot to discuss in this book, making it a good choice for a book club or book report. Jun 03, Grace rated it really liked it. I like to read books that can really happen in real life. The book, "If I Grow Up" looked like a unique book.

DeShawn and everyone else have to constantly be scared of dying. DeShawn starts to be like everyone else around him but helps his friend have a life like us. No good ones, at least," this quote revealed how DeShawn couldn't stop himself from being like everyone else. To eat and live he had to be part of a gang it was his only choice. The author, Todd Strasser, wrote the book confusing. I think the author could have written it more clearly.

I recommend this book to people who like books about regular kids surrounded by a weird, dangerous neighborhood. I loved the ending of the book but also hated it! Apr 26, Alejandro Hernandez rated it it was amazing. If I Grow Up chronicles the teenage years of DeShawn he is a boy living with his grandmother and sister in Frederick Douglas projects, douglas is a place run buy gangs and when drug dealer had nice shoes and big tv DeShawn could hardly affored food.

DeShawn is 12 when the book begins but when it ends he is 28 and the time chgange between each chapter dramatically showing how quickly things can go wrong a caring mother becomes a prostitute a promising student becomes a drug pusher and fighter but If I Grow Up chronicles the teenage years of DeShawn he is a boy living with his grandmother and sister in Frederick Douglas projects, douglas is a place run buy gangs and when drug dealer had nice shoes and big tv DeShawn could hardly affored food.

DeShawn is 12 when the book begins but when it ends he is 28 and the time chgange between each chapter dramatically showing how quickly things can go wrong a caring mother becomes a prostitute a promising student becomes a drug pusher and fighter but instead focusing on his schoolwork while watching his best friend Terrell work his way up the hierarchy he does poor in school and then something dramadectly happens in the end the changes completly. May 07, Kyra rated it liked it. This book is so realistic. It makes me think about my life, and how sheltered I have always been.

I feel bad for the people who think that the only way that you can live is in a gang. I wish we could get over the fact that everyones skin is colored differently. Everyone cries racist if a white person gets mad at a black persont, but when it is the other way around they aren't. It is just so confusing to me. But not really about the book, this was a really good book, and it told a good story.

I w This book is so realistic. I was hoping that with all of the people reaching out to him Deshawn would not get sucked into the world of gangs, killed or sent to jail, and that he would not end up as he did.

It shows that even if someone wants to do better than everyone else it is hard to avoid all you know. Hard to get away from what you grew up with. I would recommend this book to any of my friends, and I will, I hope you find it as Jun 19, Bee rated it really liked it Shelves: This book was a short read.

I liked that I could learn from this book. The author has sources in the back of the book for books on the problems in the book, which happen in the real world. What are the problems you may ask? Children in bad environments. Children growing up in environments like DeShawn's. An environment were most people you know are poor, doing drugs, or in a gang. Other problems include schooling, drugs, poverty, and the biggest of everything, gangs. I felt that even though a lot This book was a short read. I felt that even though a lot of the people DeShawn knew had some of the same problems and same events in their life's, that everyone still had very different personailtys.

I did like this book but I was sad by the outcome of DeShawn's life. I always thought it would be Terrell in jail, Tarrell even said it himself.

If I Grow Up | Book by Todd Strasser | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

I thought DeShawn would live happy with Tanisha and Simon. Overall, this was an interesting and well written book. Jan 03, Chloe rated it it was amazing. This book tells the story of a young boy who lives in the projects in New York City. Deshawn is a well behaved and respectful boy, a good influence on his friends and is smart too. When Deshawn starts to realize the harsh realities of being poverty stricken, he leaves his old life behind to fend for his family. I loved this book because most books have a character that change "If I Grow Up" really brings things into perspective for a reader that doesn't live in a violent inner city neighborhood.

I loved this book because most books have a character that changes for the better. Toss Strasser shocks us all when Deshawn changes for the worst. Every bad decision Deshawn makes impacts the people around so much that pressure becomes to much. If you like love and family when looking for books, read "If I Grow Up. Sep 12, Michael rated it really liked it.

I was hooked instantly on this book. It entertained me the whole way through and opened my eyes to an overlooked problem in the U. The whole book covers much of the protagonist, Deshawn's life from when he was around the age of ten to his early twenties. Deshawn was born into an unfortunate situation of gang violence, drugs, and crime. Raised by his grandmother with his older sister, Deshawn grew up in the projects. By growing up in a world filled with poverty, Deshawn felt like he had to prov I was hooked instantly on this book.

By growing up in a world filled with poverty, Deshawn felt like he had to provide for his family. The only way he could quickly get money was by joining his local gang. As Deshawn aged he also became higher ranking in his gang and he would eventually become the gang leader. This book concluded with Deshawn being sentenced to prison for a very long time and looking back at his life.

I really liked this book as it showed how it is nearly impossible to make it out of those awful neighborhoods, but at the end Deshawn gave a solution to making it it out. Jun 08, Cheryl Clark rated it really liked it. Honestly, I can understand why this book is "great. It gives a brutal, gritty look at a young boy's life in a housing project and explains why it is almost impossible not to join a gang or get pregnant under such conditions. BUT--sorry, I guess this makes me a shallow person--I just don't like depressing books like this. I was not entertained. So I realize that "entertainment" is not the purpose of such a novel as this, and I Honestly, I can understand why this book is "great.

So I realize that "entertainment" is not the purpose of such a novel as this, and I think it is worthwhile reading. But again, don't read this novel if you're just looking for something fun and entertaining. It's just a little hard to believe, a little too dramatic to be realistic. But overall, I would recommend this book to teens who think they want to be gangbangers. Dec 29, Olivia rated it liked it. In the inner city project where DeShawn lives, daily life is ruled by drugs and gang violence.

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Gun shots ring out on a daily basis, and the cops never do anything about it. Most teenagers he knows drop out of school and join gangs. And everybody knows someone who has died because of it. DeShawn is smart, he knows he should stay in school and keep away from gangs. How he stic In the inner city project where DeShawn lives, daily life is ruled by drugs and gang violence.

How he stick to his morals when his family is hungry? This book gives readers insight into a problem that many teenagers must face in reality, having to give up school and safety in order to take care of their families. It is very well written and talks about an issue often overlooked in young adult writing.


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Fans of Todd Strasser will love this new book that makes us question how well our society really works. Jan 18, Heidi rated it liked it Shelves: DeShawn lives in the tough, gang-ruled Frederick Douglass projects. His life is chronicled annually from age twelve through seventeen, and finally age twenty-eight. Determined to stay far away from the gang lifestyle so many of his friends are leading, DeShawn becomes involved with a girl from a rival gang's neighborhood. Violence ensues when the relationship is found out.

While some of the plot centers on overly-used cliches African-American boy struggling to do the right thing despite overwhe DeShawn lives in the tough, gang-ruled Frederick Douglass projects. While some of the plot centers on overly-used cliches African-American boy struggling to do the right thing despite overwhelming obstacles, strong maternal presence, teen girls becoming pregnant , the look at gang life and the tough choices made with respect to gang membership will draw teens in.

Some language including references to drugs may be problematic for some libraries. The cover photograph on the paperback version is much more likely to entice readers to open the book, and that version includes the author's name in a font which is similar to graffiti, which goes along with the story line. Todd Strasser is an American author of more than young-adult and middle grade novels and novelizations, some written under the pen names Morton Rue and T. Rue Todd was born in New York City.

Todd went to the I. Willets Elementary school and then attended the Wheatley School for junior high and high school. His bes Todd Strasser is an American author of more than young-adult and middle grade novels and novelizations, some written under the pen names Morton Rue and T.